On Adversity and Focusing on The Positive

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how keeping your eye on the path around the rock while riding a bike and not staring at the obstacle is important.


Last week I was at a convention with 34,000 other people, and listening to a wide variety of speakers and concepts.  Yes, they were selling towards a specific product and mindset, but this company is very successful at what they do, and they bring a fantastic group of spokespersons to their events.  I also use their products daily so I’m hooked on seeing how they do it all.

One of their speakers was from the Gallup polling company, and his message really resonated with me.  His name is Jeremie Brecheisen, and his message was simple and very similar to my “stop looking at your obstacles” post.  Jeremie’s message, backed by Gallup poll data, was that if you want to be successful or help other people to be successful, concentrate on strengths and stop focusing on weaknesses.

It sounds simple, but his example of a student getting several A’s on a report card and one F brings this concept into better clarity.  How many of us would focus on the F with the child and let it overshadow the also necessary conversations about the A’s?  I would (I have) and I also have tended to look at my own F’s and forget about acknowledging my own successes.  It’s true, the F needs to be addressed, but current trends in data point towards the fact that focusing on the A’s is more effective.

For a week prior to my convention immersion, I spent several days bouncing around the desert of the American Southwest, and came across landscapes like the photo above.  Despite the blue skies and green foliage making this photo look inviting, I learned quickly that every element in this desert is designed to hurt us.  These cactus (and thousands here you don’t see) rattle snakes and temperatures in this environment left me in awe of how we settled this area. Sprouting up towns like Tucson and Phoenix seems almost impossible now, let alone in the early-mid 1800’s when it actually happened.

Which brings me back to utilizing the positive attributes in your life.  If the early settlers of this harsh land had constantly ruminated on the negatives and forgot to focus on the positive nature of what they were doing, they would have never succeeded in their quests.  Similarly, if was all listened to those that say we can’t accomplish what we are trying to do, whatever it is, we have already failed.

Harsh environments exist everywhere, sometimes the harshest are contained within the walls of a corporation.  Get outside of your office, find your calling and bring the wisdom and leadership of surviving in remote harsh climates into your daily one.  Your leadership and good management skills will be better for it.