It’s all a matter of framing. The language we choose leads to the way we think about and approach things as well as work through the realities of our lives. If we frame situations as problems then we tend to look at trying to solve them. If we frame situations as opportunities then we tend to explore and welcome them.
It’s a big shift to change the way we look at what’s right in front of us. A lot of us are successful because we’ve been good at navigating successfully through what we find ourselves facing. We’ve done this with a basic sense of “being on a path to somewhere”. In other words we haven’t seen ourselves as aimlessly bouncing through arcade game. We have had a sense of who we are and what we stand for and that has served us well as we have faced the challenges we’ve encountered
To look at things differently is to say that what’s in front of us is something that can be appreciated for the strengths that currently displays as well as for the possibilities of the future. The point of looking at a situation as an opportunity is to suggest that when we look beyond the “problem-solving focus” or the “minimizing the damages” approach to a more “what do we prefer” and a “what about this situation do we want to take into our future” kind of guiding questions approach then our possibilities for how we move toward this opportunity have dramatically expanded.
When we look at what is in front of us with one eye on the positive realities that are apparent and another eye on a preferred future – we can enlarge the possible ways of successfully interacting with the situations we face.
To get to the preferred future likely will take time. That is reality with many preferred futures. The desired state of accomplishment may be very far off. Think about Martin Luther King when he spoke of having a dream. It was a dream that was not an immediate likelihood. On the other hand it certainly was an illuminating focus of a very clear direction. It inspired many people and they embraced that dream and worked towards that opportunity.
Problem spotting, finger pointing, complaining, negativism, nitpicking, bashing, fault finding, disapproving and or other ways of framing our view of the day or the economy or anything. This kind of language takes us into a downward spiral.
We are wise when we appreciate that which is good about today as we work toward a much better tomorrow.
Note: As I think about the youth of today I choose to think about opportunies!!!