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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Do You See Problems or Gifts In Your Business?

In every business there are situations that can be perceived as problems, challenges, opportunities, and even gifts. The choice you make in your perception of situations as they present themselves to you will affect how you handle them.

If I were to put four boxes on a table, each beautifully wrapped, and explained that the first contained a “problem”, the second a “challenge”, the third an “opportunity” and the fourth a “gift”, which would you choose to open first? Most people would choose to open the box with the gift first; these same people would also open the box with the problem last.

Why?

The reason is simple. The majority of people would rather avoid a problem, while eagerly embracing a gift. We don’t want problems because they are perceived as unpleasant interruptions to our life. Gifts, on the other hand, are exciting and typically bring something into our life that is pleasant and fun. Problems are not usually perceived as being enjoyable.

It is our avoidance of, and negative attitude about, “problems” that must be overcome if we are to create greater happiness and success on a consistent basis. The key to this lies in changing your perception of reality.

As the business owner and leader of your company, it is imperative that you choose to perceive every circumstance that faces your organization in the most positive way you can. A powerful first step is to be grateful for the fact you have a business. From there, choose to be grateful for the very situation you are facing, what it will teach you, and for the fact that you are alive and capable of effectively working through it. A grateful mindset works wonders in helping us gain a positive perspective of whatever we are facing.

The next step is to put down the “problem” concept in your own mind. Instead, adopt a new perspective where what you have in front of you is viewed merely as a situation to be effectively dealt with. This simple yet powerful choice decreases your tendency to react with avoidance, procrastination, disappointment, frustration and even anger. With this new perspective, you will be able to address each situation in a timely manner, with greater effectiveness and less suffering.

Another powerful attribute to cultivate is a solution-based mindset. This will allow you to embrace situations as they arise and immediately begin working toward an effective solution. Remember, when we perceive something as a “problem”, we begin to avoid it. This does not create the necessary solution as this choice only prolongs discomfort and delays the inevitable; until a solution is created, the problem will persist. There is a solution to every situation you will ever face in business, as long as you are willing to look for one and implement it.

With your strong example of gratitude and a solution-based mindset, in time, your team will follow your lead. They too, will take on a more positive perspective of the situations they are faced with and will go after solutions more and more on their own, and with greater confidence. Your business will endure less and less interruptions, the environment will become more positive, your team will grow stronger and more happiness and success will be available to all.

The businesses I work with are continually astounded by the power of this approach. Once it has been learned and applied on a consistent basis, the overall operations of the company change for the better. When you and your team put down “problems”, you will experience an abundance of energy, increased motivation and will have a strong desire to create solutions with the gifts you have been given. This, in turn, leads to higher production, more efficiency, greater satisfaction for everyone and increased personal and professional results.

As you become more grateful and continue to grow a more powerful mindset about the reality of doing business, you will come to see fewer problems and more gifts. Over time, with practice and as you become stronger, you can move from situations to be effectively dealt with toward challenges to be faced, then onto opportunities to be embraced. Ultimately, everything you face will be seen as a gift to be received.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.