Character Sketch (April 2, 2008) 

The Positivist

Greg “Mr. Positive” Balteff
The Positivist

With the stresses of school, work, family, romantic relationships, health and finances (to name the biggies), one of the single purest truths about our existence on this planet is that life is hard — there’s no way around it. And sometimes we lose sight of the “light.” No, not the spiritual “I’ve seen the light” type of illumination, rather those proverbial “rose-tinted glasses” that we all should not forget to throw on from time to time.

I'm reminded of the celebrated author Ayn Rand who wrote, "Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity."

Meet Greg Balteff, perhaps one of the most motivational folks living in our fair state. Balteff is, in fact, so uplifting that 101.1 The WRIF’s disc jockey, Mr. Doug Podell, was the very man that bequeathed the magical moniker unto him, a name that would forever change the course of his life — manifest destiny, if you will. Mr. Positive was born.

Balteff is a motivational speaker and personal trainer … with a mission. His mission is yours, is everyone’s. It’s universal, though he acts on a local level — Balteff wants you to be happy. It’s that simple. “If you’re not making a difference, if you're not living your dream, you know, I always say to people that when you stop dreaming you start dying,” says Greg in his booming, eloquent voice, “and that’s what Mr. P is all about, reaching for your dreams.”

You can hear Mr. Positive every Friday afternoon on Doug Podell’s show when he comes on air and gives a motivational monologue stemming from the ‘70s cult classic The Warriors, but Balteff is looking to take Mr. Positive to the masses on television, and I could totally see him on the morning news with Mr. Positive’s Motivational Minute or even, perhaps down the line, Mr. Positive's Power Hour. Hey, you gotta dream big, right?

Mr. Positive's voice (as opposed to Balteff's regular speaking voice) is one you’d assume might belong to a superhero, one that reaches into you to uplift. I met him for this story at a local coffee shop and left with more than that. It was a cold and windy night, ice covered the ground and on the way to my car, I slipped and fell on my ass. Normally, I would curse the world, get up and kick my car, but having just spoke with Mr. P, I found myself smiling as I brushed myself off, laughed at my slip and drove away. Then, as I flipped through my iPod, I remembered something Balteff had told me, one of those small things I could do to increase my daily contentment: “When I’m listening to Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ or I’m listening to my boy Elvis do ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and I’m feeling the power and the passion of the music, I want to take that and live my life the way I feel in that very moment.”  | RDW

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