Sometimes cliches are true. Is this one of them?


The productive mindset – being realistic and positive

“A pessimist see the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

You hear it at work. You read about it on the internet. You see memes about it on Facebook. But it doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

When I journey out into the world, people don’t seem upbeat and positive. Why? That question has been burning a hole in my mind for years.

Cliche’ – Yeah, So What

It may sound cliché, but being positive is extremely important and very powerful if you want to influence others. Think about it. Do you want to spend time with the pessimist, the person who points out problems and does not offer solutions?

Do you want to be around people who are constantly dumping their negative thoughts on you, who tell you “that’s impossible”, who paint the world with cynicism, worry, and constant doubt?

You probably have a specific person in mind right now. The person who tells you the sunshine won’t last, the nice weather ends tomorrow, the weekend was dreary, the rain makes me sad, that Monday’s aren’t my day, that work sucks, and on and on and on. Maybe that person is you.

Or do you want to be around people who believe that dreams are possible? Those people who encourage, who build others up, who find ways to help advance goals, who see in others what they can’t see in themselves and who have created happy and productive lives.

I bet you can also think about a person in your life that people want to be around because they are so encouraging, uplifting and positive. By virtue of their optimism, they create a sense of possibility in those around them. Maybe that person is you. Who would you rather follow?

What do you think these two kinds of people attract into their lives?

Problem-Oriented or Solution-Oriented

If you want to be successful as a leader you should focus 5% of your effort on the problem and 95% of your effort on the solution.

There are problem-oriented people and there are solution-oriented people. If you want to be successful as a leader you should focus 5% of your effort on the problem and 95% of your effort on the solution. There are negative things in the world and we should focus on finding solutions for them but how can you find solutions to true problems if all you see are problems? What you focus on expands.

Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “You become what you think about all day long.” What do you think about all day long?

See things for what they are but don’t make them worse than they are. Imagination can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy. Don’t let your imagination turn problems into chaos. Let your imagination turn problems into possibilities.

What Gets Recorded Gets Managed

Take a day and just record – write down or voice record – your thoughts for the day. Do a mental inventory to see what you truly think about throughout the day. What is your internal dialogue?

You must make focused effort to pause and reflect on what you are thinking about and then take a moment here and there throughout the day to record those thoughts, even if only in bullet point format.

You might be surprised that you are not thinking about the right things as much as you had previously thought. It is so easy for our thoughts to go on autopilot. Much like we find ourselves in the driveway of our home without remembering the drive.

Habit and routine run our lives more than we care to admit. If you want positive results in your life and to grow into a truly influential person, you must first stop the routine and interrupt the habit by becoming conscious of your thoughts. Start today.