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***NEW*** What Do You See and What?s Wrong with What You See

??What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.? Henry Miller

Look at this box carefully. What do you see inside? Can you see a black dot? Is that all you see inside the box?

If your response is yes, you can see a black dot and that?s all you see, you are not alone. And that is sad news.

What you focus on at work and in life largely determines your attitude, your ability to stay creative, how soon you can leave the past behind and your growth in key aspects of life regardless of the prevailing circumstances.

Since 1998, I have conducted a simple survey at many of my presentations to illustrate the importance of turning setbacks or change into steppingstones to a new beginning. I pick up a white piece of paper (either a standard 8.5 x 11 or a larger one depending of the number of people present) and scribble a visible dot. I then ask the audience what they can see. The very first response, without fail, is a black dot.

Sometimes, I have people privately write down what they can see. The overwhelming majority, sometimes as high as 90%, write that they can see the black dot, and nothing else.

You can imagine the facial expressions and/or deep breaths taken when I ask the audience, ?How come you didn?t see the white space surrounding the black dot?? A participant once asked, ?Were we supposed to see that, too??

The majority of us, unfortunately, focus on the dots of our lives. But did you know that, on average, 98% of the time good things happen? And still, we focus on the 2% when things don?t go our way, when natural forces or man/woman made factors change our lives.

Speakers are likely to focus on the two negative evaluation forms instead of the 98 positive ones. A leader can use two to three incidents a year to deny an employee a positive evaluation or a promotion. You can work with someone for seven years but what you remember the most are the few moments when there were conflicts. Married people know very well that you can spend a day harmoniously together, maybe at the beach, but around 5:00 p.m., you say one sentence in the wrong way and that is what is remembered.

Focusing on the past or a negative experience is the best way to waste energy and resources. When you focus on the setbacks of life, you are likely to blame others, become less creative, be more defensive, waste energy and resources and keep yourself stuck in your mindset. When focusing on setbacks becomes a habit, it leads to business failure, broken relationships, failed careers and regret.

When you focus on the 98% of life that is good, you have a positive attitude and accept reality with a resolve to make things better. You see what?s working and think about involving others. You are building an optimistic environment that fosters strong relationships, creativity, enthusiasm and personal and professional growth.

Every day you wake up, you have a choice to make. Are you going to focus on the dot or on the 98% goodness of life?

Sometimes that ?dot? is what helps us improve. Reward the one unsatisfied customer who tells you his/her bad experience with your services/products?because probably there were many others who just kept quiet after swearing never to do business with you again. The question then is:

Have you focused on the few failing experiences of the past, thus jeopardizing your ability to enjoy today and have a better tomorrow?

Do you, as a leader focus on isolated employee incidents or on the overall performance?

As a salesperson, are you focused on (and disappointed by) the few potential customers who can?t close the deal with you or on the open market that awaits your call?

Is your attitude negative because you focus on the lack of a few material items or a job title instead of the many blessings you have that millions of people wish they could have for a day?

Does your day?s productivity suffer because you focus on a single setback instead of focusing on all the other things that are just fine?

As a parent, do you focus on your child?s grades only or do you consider his or her overall performance (responsible, respectful, trustworthy, self-initiating or team player) in life?

Are your relationships turbulent because you focus on a few situations when you were disappointed?

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