The Right Frame of Mind

Our brains our amazing objects. With just a bunch or neurons and electrons flowing around (and other stuff too, but you know what I mean), we have the ability to think critically, rationalize, debate, feel emotions, use our 5 senses, and do so much more. And while I’m not a scientist, I’m awed at the power that we all hold between our ears and our ability to create, think, and feel alive.

Despite our similarities in our brains, I’ve been discovering that many of us approach and frame the same issues in a radically different way. And how we approach these issues can fundamentally change our outlook and thoughts on life. While not every thought will change your life, we succeed or fail one thought at a time. As I’ve reflected on this, I’ve decided to write a bit about some of the frames we carry around.

1. Is the glass being half full vs. half empty?
This is one of the most common metaphors for optimism and pessimism, and if you believe in the ideas behind the Law of Attraction, you will naturally find yourself in better situations by having a positive outlook on life. One of my favourite stories about this is a Chinese fable about an old man and his horse. As life runs its course, a variety of things happen to him, yet his reaction is always the opposite of what you’d normally expect. It’s a great tale that will challenge your assumptions about interpreting events for better or for worse.

2. Scarcity vs. Abundance?
Do you believe that we live in a world with finite and fixed resources, or do you believe that we live in an abundant world that can provide for all of our needs? Do you believe in freely giving and freely receiving? Can multiple people be successful in the same industry? Or if person A finds a new customer, does that mean person B loses a customer?

3. Growing the pie vs. Taking a bigger slice
This idea is similar to the ideaof scarcity vs. abundance and is a common business metaphor. Itasks if you believe there is a finite value of resources to be competed for, or if you there is a way to grow the pie so that everyone can win and have a bigger piece. One case study that I remember is of Swiffer, which not only revolutionized the home cleaning category and allowed P&G to gain greater market share, but expanded the industry at the same time. If you want to continue reading about interesting stories of growing the pie, check out the book, Blue Ocean Strategy.

4. Proactive vs. reactive?
When opportunity strikes, do you usually find yourself acting in a proactive or reactive manner? What would you rather be doing? Under what circumstances is it better to be reactive or proactive?

I hope this gives you some food for thought and maybe challenges you to look at your beliefs and how you approach life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Life’s too short to let the pessimists, naysayers, or other toxic people pull you down. Focus on being the best you can be and Carpe Diem!