Our very own Tom Patterson once told me the story of 2 shoe salesmen who were sent to the jungle. Upon arrival both men noticed most of the natives were barefoot. One salesman called HQ and said, “Whose bright idea was it to send me here? Nobody here wears shoes.” The other salesman called HQ and said, “Send me two containers ASAP. Nobody here wears shoes!”
The ability to focus your thoughts, your speech, your actions on positive outcomes comes more naturally to some than others, but we can all benefit from making a shift to the positive side.
As we move into the final stretch of the year, I challenge you to do a little reprogramming of your brain.
The reprogramming I’m talking about is a subtle change, but it has enormous impact. It’s the power of positive positioning, mind share, and action. It starts with speaking in the affirmative, which is fairly easy to put into practice once you get the hang of it.
A few examples:
- Man, that Ops Review was brutal >> The Ops Review feedback is helping us identify ways to get better
- I have no idea where to start >> With some guidance from you, I’m sure I can run with this
- We can’t be everything to everyone >> With greater focus we can put our skills to better use
We can achieve more (and be happier doing it) if we train ourselves to think and ACT in the affirmative. The affirmative actions are focused on:
- opportunities, not problems
- strengths, not weaknesses
- solutions, not excuses
I’m not professing that we should walk around here like the cast from Little House on the Prairie. Affirmative practitioners don’t ignore that negativity exists (they would truly be in la-la land.) Instead, the affirmative practitioner acknowledges a negative situation then articulates a positive action.
I’ll leave you with 3 last thoughts on the topic:
- The affirmative practitioner is the rescuer, not the victim.
- The affirmative practitioner takes responsibility for his/her actions and knows the result will be good.
- The affirmative practitioner is a natural leader because others are drawn to possibilities.
If the challenge to make positive changes to the way you think and act resonates with you, check out the following resources:
If you’re not up for a whole book, but are willing to really contemplate Ten Tips, here are some good ones: Ten Ways To Take Control with Positive Thinking