I was with my son at a defensive driving seminar. The Mid Ohio race course had configured a car to spin at a low speed. The instructor was attempting to teach my son how to recover from a spin. He said we unconsciously will steer wherever we are looking. You are spinning in the car you see a tree you want to avoid and look at it …. that is where the car will end up. The instructor said always look where you want to go and steer there.
Christine Comaford in her new book SmartTribes, How Teams Become Brilliant Together, has a similar message. She calls it “positive target fixation.” If you are surfing look at the beach, not at the pile of rocks near you. She asked her surfing instructor to yell “surf to the beach” instead of “watch out for the jetty.” Where you look matters. Let me say that again, we have the power to choose what we concentrate on. If we concentrate on positive things rather than negative ones good things will happen.
Comaford writes that Wayne Dyer told her that “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” When you want to buy a particular model of a new car you suddenly see it everywhere. Did that make of car just suddenly appear? No we just changed what we were looking at. The ah ha moment for me was Comaford’s conclusion, when we concentrate on the negative such as what is not working, what is so hard, an impossible individual to work with etc. we are practicing negative target fixation. Our brains will find out all the reasons why things are so difficult. The brain will work hard to validate the reality.
On the other hand Comaford says if you ask “why is it so easy” you will fixate on a positive target. She says try asking yourself why is so easy to streamline our sales process, why is it so easy to create marketing messages that resonate deeply, why is it so easy to find the perfect new hire role for our company. Why is it so easy to ……… (fill in the blank). What is working? What is going well? In this case you’ll be surfing toward the beach or steering back to the road. The brain will work to validate the new positive reality. You will be happier and more successful by concentrating on the positive.
You have a choice what to concentrate on and you and only you control it. Make it a positive day!
Until next time – all the best!