In every business there are situations that can be perceived as problems, challenges, opportunities and even gifts. The choices you make in your perception of situations as they present themselves affect how you handle them, and therefore, the outcomes you create.
If I were to put four boxes on a table, each beautifully wrapped, and explained that the first box contained a problem, the second a challenge, the third an opportunity and the fourth a gift, which would you choose to open first? Most people — 82 percent, in fact — would choose to open the box with the gift first. These same people would also open the box with the problem last.
Why? The reason is simple: Most people would rather embrace a gift and avoid a problem. We don’t want problems because they’re perceived as unpleasant interruptions to our happiness and success. Even if you, the business owner, choose the problem first, your team members most likely won’t. Gifts, on the other hand, are exciting and typically bring something into our life that’s pleasant and fun. Problems are not usually perceived as being enjoyable.
It’s our avoidance of, and negative attitude about, “problems” that must be overcome if we are to create greater happiness and success on a consistent basis. The key to this lies in changing your perception of reality.
As the business owner and leader of your company, it’s imperative you choose to perceive every circumstance that faces your organization in the most positive and constructive way you can. A powerful first step is to be profoundly grateful for the fact you have a business. From there, choose to be grateful for the very situation you face, what it will teach you and for the fact you’re alive and capable of effectively working through it. A grateful mindset works wonders in gaining an optimistic perspective of whatever we face.
The next step is to put down the “problem” concept in your own mind. Instead, adopt a new perspective in which what you have in front of you is viewed merely as another situation to be effectively handled. This simple, yet powerful, choice reduces your tendency to react with avoidance, procrastination, disappointment, frustration and even anger. With this new perspective, you’ll be able to address each situation in a more timely manner, with greater effectiveness and less suffering.
Another powerful attribute to cultivate is a solution-based mindset. This will allow you to embrace situations as they arise and immediately begin working toward effective solutions. Remember, when we perceive something as a “problem,” we avoid it. This doesn’t create the necessary solution, but rather prolongs discomfort and delays the inevitable. Until a solution is created, the situation persists. There’s a solution to every situation you’ll ever face in life and business as long as you’re willing to look for one and implement it.
With your strong and consistent example of gratitude and solution-based mindset, in time team members will follow your lead. They, too, will take on a more positive perspective of the situations they face and go after solutions more and more on their own and with greater confidence. Your business will endure fewer and fewer interruptions, the environment will become more positive, your team will grow stronger and more happiness and success will be available to all.
The businesses owners with which I work are continually astounded by the power of this approach. Once it has been learned and applied on a consistent basis, the overall operations of the company change for the better. When you and your team put down problems and pick up your gifts, you’ll experience an abundance of energy and increased motivation due to a strong desire to create solutions with the gifts you’ve been given. This, in turn, leads to higher production, more efficiency, greater satisfaction for everyone and increased personal and professional results.
As you become more grateful and continue to grow a more powerful mindset about the reality of doing business, you’ll come to perceive fewer problems. Over time, with practice and as you become stronger, you can move from situations to be effectively dealt with toward challenges to be faced, then onto opportunities to be embraced. Ultimately, everything you face will be seen as a gift to be received.
I wish you a grateful spirit, an abundant mindset, a joyful heart and all the happiness and success you desire. Happy Thanksgiving to you.