The Power of Positive

Jan 17, 2023
by Julie East

Recently I was invited by my Delta Kappa Gamma Education Sorority to be the keynote speaker at our November meeting. Delta Kappa Gamma is an organization to promote professional and personal growth as educators and to unite women educators of the world in a genuine spiritual fellowship. I was asked to speak on “the power of positive affirmations in education.” Happily, I went online and found a book with the title, The Power of the Positive: Achieve Fulfilment, Success, and Happiness Using Powerful, Positive Affirmations by Colleen Archer.

Archer defines affirmations as “short, positive, present tense statements about yourself, your life, and the world, that are meant to create positive change in your life.” Archer also emphasizes that to truly gain the rewards of affirmations, you need to create a regular focused practice of saying positive affirmations, so that the power will become internalized, and your negative thought processes will take a turn for the positive.

As I read the book, I found myself singing an old tune I had learned many years before, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with ‘Mr. In-between!’” It was a song I grew up singing, a song published in 1944, when I was only three. My dad was fighting in World War II and sustained a severe head injury on Guam. The music was written by Harold Arlen and the lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It won the Academy Award in 1945 after being used in the film, “Here Come the Waves.” Thankfully, my dad modeled and sang the lyrics to me when he returned from the war, spent months in the VA Hospital in New Orleans, worked to overcome severe headaches, and later attended college at Northwestern in Natchitoches to become a teacher and coach who made a difference in the lives of his students.

Happily, my husband, Tommy Lofton, the founder of Lofton Staffing Services, also modeled for me the power of the positive and a strong work ethic when I met him my first day at LSU. He was a senior and I was a freshman who had been valedictorian of my high school class, but had never had a job. Sadly, Tommy’s dad, a 52-year-old construction worker had died unexpectedly in his sleep of a heart attack the summer Tommy finished high school, leaving behind Tommy’s mom, an invalid sister, and an older sister overseas with her husband who was serving in the army. Life had not been easy for his family. Construction work was declining before his dad’s death, and Tommy had started working as a paper boy when he was only 11 years old. He couldn’t believe I’d never had a job, and he first had me work holidays with him at J. C. Penny’s and then helped me get a job working at LSU.

When Tommy finished LSU, he, like my dad, became a teacher. He loved teaching Algebra 2 at Istrouma High School where he had graduated, but decided to take a job in industry for a few years to earn enough money to make a down-payment on a house and then go back to teaching. However, he proved to be so successful in improving human relationships in industry that they made him Human Resource Director and moved him from one plant to another in Geismar. His success also brought him national recognition, and he later became Human Resource Director at a new plant in Macon, Georgia. He then returned to Baton Rouge to begin Lofton Staffing, which has grown to 10 offices with employees working in multiple states, and happily, with our two sons, Bret and Bart, as Co-Presidents! Again, this confirmed for me the power of the positive!

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today.