The Power of Positive Thinking
By Scotti Ian Ogden
Owner of Ogden Contracting LTD
“Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.”Brian Tracy
Let’s delve into the philosophy that has transformed my life, and has been my guiding compass through the peaks and valleys that characterize my journey: The power of positive thinking.
The Lens of Opportunity
The power of positive thinking, not just a catchy phrase, or title of a book; it’s the very lens in which we interpret the world around us. The lens that turns what most people label as a “problem” into opportunity.
Rather than looking at problems with a microscope, you look at opportunities with binoculars.
I remember an incredible lesson from early on in my career, a story that cemented this philosophy for me. A truck driver totaled his company truck and damaged two other vehicles. Instead of firing him, his boss termed it as a $70,000 investment in the driver’s education.
Shifting Your Perspective
From the example above, can you imagine the shift in that perspective?
Since then, I have shifted perspective in my own life and work. I encourage everyone, be it family or my staff to replace the word problem with ‘challenge’. This single linguistic shift does wonders; it changes how you approach a situation, making them puzzles to solve rather than burdens to bear.
Using a New Perspective for Business
I had a farmer once build me a coach house and when he got to the second floor, he phoned me and said “I built this building out of a square, how should I fix it”? I realized he had built the building 8 inches out of square. In all honesty, I wanted to fire him; however, I used it as an opportunity to be proactive to write a system that makes sure this never happens again and gave him another opportunity.
How an Opportunity Lens Benefits Business
Another facet of this lens is the opportunity for growth that presents both personally and professionally.
At the end of each project, I make a point to share the learning curves with my client. Yes, it shows vulnerability. Yes, it’s unusual, but it establishes a level of trust that no formal contract can secure. I found that a positive mindset doesn’t just stop with me, it’s contagious.
How do you Cultivate a Positive Mindset in a World that Seems to Focus on the Negatives?
1. Focus on the Solutions
The first step is to focus on solutions and not problems when challenges arise. The easy route is not to complain, to wine, to sulk. The more difficult and far more rewarding path is to ask what can I do to improve the solution? Then do it.
2. Practice Gratitude
The second key to practicing gratitude. Yes, challenges are tough, but there’s always something to be grateful for, your house, your family, even the very breath you take, can be a source of gratitude. Once you focus on what you’re grateful for, challenges begin to seem smaller and more manageable.
3. Spread Positivity
The third is to spread positivity, a positive mindset isn’t just for you; it’s something that can benefit everyone around you. When I’m home surrounded by my friends and family who may have had a difficult day, my aim is to help them see the silver lining. It’s not about invalidating their experiences, but rather offering different perspectives. I always say it’s not what happens to you but what happens for you.
Lastly, I encourage you to view your world through the lens of positive thinking by asking yourself:
- What opportunities are hiding in my challenges?
- What can I be grateful for?
- How can I spread this positivity to others?
A positive mindset is not only your shield, but also your sword in navigating the battles of life. It’s what transforms challenges into opportunities, despair into hope and transactions into relationships.
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