I don’t recall where I first heard the saying “obstacles present new opportunities”; yet, these words have influenced my approach to life for years.
I am always marvelled as to why so many people are so quick to embrace doom and gloom versus searching for alternate solutions when faced with challenges. We all know that life’s not perfect so it’s a given that we will encounter some obstacle or challenge from time to time.
Ultimately, we all have a deep rooted desire for happiness and success. So how do we begin practicing a more positive mindset when tackling obstacles in our personal lives or business situations? I can almost guarantee you that wining about a situation never feeds that burning desire.
In my first article, I shared a little secret about my risk aversion. Well, guess what? Working through certain challenges over the years has required a degree of risk taking (makes me wonder how I ever managed). In hindsight, I realised how much having a positive attitude truly matters.
What has helped me to balance my aversion to risk over the years is that I am always focused on identifying solutions, while maintaining a positive attitude and laser-like focus to achieving the desired outcome. At times, this may require me to drown out the noise around me and avoid those who profess doom and gloom.
My approach generally is quite the opposite. I prefer to focus on the “what if”? So the original plan can’t work or didn’t work but what if we try “x or y”!. When leading a team, it is absolutely imperative to foster a solutions-driven culture; however, the same should be applied to our personal lives.
At 18 years old, I had my first major set back. I wanted to pursue my degree and recall being so excited when I got accepted. But that was short lived because apparently my father was not eager to help fund my education and my mum simply could not afford to. What was a girl to do? After days of tears and outright depression, I realised I had to devise a plan because I had one overarching goal for my life and that was to “make something of myself” – whatever that term really meant to me at the time!
So from a very young age, I realised two very important things that have influenced my personal style over the years: 1) life is always sure to throw curveballs at the best laid plans so brace yourself and try to give some thought to the “what-ifs” before hand. 2) don’t spend too much time wallowing in what’s already done. Deal with your reality and ensure this includes defining suitable next steps that guide you towards the desired outcome.
Just remember, we all get disappointed or experience set backs from time to time; but keep your eyes on the prize. It may not seem like it at the time, but there is always a way, especially supported by prayer and surely, having a positive mindset is a key ingredient.