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Inspiration – Potentials rather than Problems

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“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” Barbara Bush.

What an amazing opportunity for us to change our mindsets – to see things from a positive perspective instead of the negative. That’s all it is at the end of the day – a simple mindset, yet we as humans tend to focus on the negative, on what is our perception of what is wrong instead of what could be right.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine (let’s call her Jane) was out and about in the Company bakkie – not doing anything that she shouldn’t have you understand – just going about company business. Someone missed a stop street and missed hitting her by literally millimetres. Tyres shrieking, brakes almost smoking, vehicle swinging and swaying all over the road, Jane fought to bring the “out of control” vehicle back under control. Thankfully there were no other vehicles around and Jane eventually brought the bakkie to stop and when she got out of the vehicle she was so shaky she could not stand properly and fell to the ground weeping uncontrollably.

Jane was distraught! For days, she went about in a highly emotional state, telling everyone who would listen to the whole story, blow by blow – second by second. She went from anger at the person who did not stop at the stop street and who sped away after the incident, to fits of weeping and then bouts of strange laughter. She ranted and raved at the bad “roadside manner” of many drivers and driving either with her at the wheel or her as a passenger became quite a challenge as she went from a normally relatively calm individual to someone in the throes of “road rage” in seconds. It was driving me nuts I tell you! Nuts!

Eventually, one morning, whilst listening to the story for the 1000th time, I had had enough and in the middle of her tirade, I turned to her and said “Jane – are you alive? Do you have any bruises? Is the bakkie okay?” She turned to me with a quizzical look on her face and replied that she was. “Well then I countered, what on earth are you on about – yes it could have happened, but the reality is that it didn’t – so can we please move forward now?” She sat quietly for a few minutes and then looked at me and said “I’ve been a bit of a pain this last week, haven’t I? I’m fine, alive and in good health – let’s go and celebrate!” And we did . . .

The point here is that we often get fixated on the negative, on the bad, or the things that irritate instead of with a simple mindset change, focusing on the good, the positive and the potential.

Here’s my challenge to you this week (and if you are aware of it, it will be much easier), at least once a day, when you find yourself in the negative or looking at the bad – consciously move it to the positive – find the good and focus on that. You will be amazed at what it does to your mood.