Breaking Free – August 2010 – What’s RIGHT with You?


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What’s WRONG RIGHT with You?!?

“Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours.”

– Swedish Proverb

I love that quote above because it has one of my all-time favorite words in it 5 times. That word is “more“. I love that word because it’s neverending. You can always have and be “more”. More today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

So, how does that play into “What’s RIGHT with You” – the title of this newsletter. Well, in life, we seem to find more of what we look for. You can seek more joy and find it. Or you can choose the mindset of seeking more pain and find it as well.

What is your focus?

So many people have been trained most of their lives to look for risks (i.e. what can go wrong). Starting in elementary school, we’re taught to solve problems. That’s what homework is all about… read this and solve the problems.

When are we going to learn that the greatest success comes from seeking opportunities not finding and identifying problems and challenges? When are learning institutions going to give their students exercises on finding opportunities?

Opportunity vs. Risk

Our brains are trained from a young age to look at what’s wrong. Our self-worth is sometimes defined by how many problems that we can fix or avoid. Many people think that the brain ‘naturally’ functions that way. I believe that it has been coached and trained to think that way. Sure, the brain has a natural instinct for recognizing errors, but the mind can choose what to focus on.

From entrepreneurs to project managers to sales people… you are taught to find the pain, the problem… to look for what’s wrong and come up with a solution. It sounds logical and it is helpful (please don’t misunderstand my point.)

Let’s look at the people that have “made it”, who are highly successful and wealthy. Since I have an Information Technology background, let’s look at Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. These are two highly successful gentlemen. They have changed the lives of millions and millions of people.
Did they do it by looking for problems?
Or, did they do it by looking for opportunities?

I believe, more than solving problems, they sought out opportunities. They looked for what was “right” and added “more”. Bill Gates didn’t invent the computer. He did, however, see an opportunity to make it “personal”. Steve Jobs didn’t invent music, but he found an opportunity to make it convenient.

Do you own an iPod or iPhone? Why? Why did you buy it? Were you in pain? Did you have a problem listening to your CDs or the radio?

No. These men became wealthy because they CREATED the market. They didn’t “fix” anything that was wrong. You didn’t even know you needed an iPod until Apple created it. They saw an opportunity!

Look for what’s RIGHT

I want to encourage you to LOOK for what’s RIGHT and build instead of looking for what’s wrong and correcting or destroying it.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Youth Sports: As some of you know, I umpire Little League baseball and I competed in competitive sports from grade school through college. I am amazed at how parents and grandparents will cheer AGAINST the other team and officials. They are so focused on what’s wrong that they forget about what’s right! They teach their kids to focus on what’s wrong… creating victims of “bad” calls and “unfair” play instead of creating victors who overcome, learn and grow. They are giving the participants an excuse to fail… instead of encouraging them to try harder and smarter to achieve more.

Managers: I spent many years as a manager in the corporate world and had to do those performance evaluations. What did the evaluations focus on? You got it! We told you what was wrong with you and what you needed to ‘fix’ so that you could better fill your role. What would happen at your company if they looked at the strengths of their employees and asked them to get stronger at what they are already good at? What if they looked for roles that you could fill by using more of your strengths? Employees would actually like going to work and contribute more.

Look for what’s RIGHT with YOU

My focus today isn’t so much about fixing what’s wrong with youth sports or management. As usual, my focus is on you.

Often I ask my clients and audiences, “When was the last time you celebrated you?” Have you taken the time to celebrate your natural strengths and the things that you do right? I’ve heard others complain “No one even noticed my contribution.” So what? If you are waiting for someone else to celebrate your contribution, you aren’t looking for what’s RIGHT with you (you’re waiting for someone else to do it for you).

YOU DECIDE! Choose today to look for what’s right with you. Celebrate your goodness and your strengths. Celebrate WHO YOU ARE as well as what you do and accomplish. Learn to look for opportunities to use your natural, God-given strengths and you will start to see the world from a new perspective.

Choose to ask others “What’s right with you?” instead of focusing on what’s wrong with them. Help others to see opportunities for growth… opportunities to add value… opportunities for “more”.

Make a list

I want you to take a few minutes to make a list of the things that are right with you… maybe even the things you can celebrate. Yes… I mean right now. It’ll only take a couple of minutes. I’ll even help you to start it.

  1. I am priceless. There is noone else in the world like you. You have a combination of talents and gifts that are unique in this world.
  2. I am intelligent. You HAVE to be intelligent if you’re still reading this newsletter. 😉
  3. I am loved. If noone else loves you (which I highly doubt), I do! Yes, and I might not know you that well, but I do know that you are a good human being with a desire to make a positive difference and I love you for that.
  4. _______________________________.

  5. _______________________________.

  6. _______________________________.

Seriously, don’t just skip over those blank lines. Take a minute to write down what you think is RIGHT with you! I’ll wait……..

What if you’re stuck and can’t think of anything to celebrate or anything that is RIGHT with you? Let me help!!