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Think positively — Universal Principles

Principle — Think positively

Positive – contributing toward or characterized by increase or progression.

When you think of it, negative thinking is just plain stupid. Why would I want that? But for some reason, our minds have a tendency to think negatively anyway. But by forcing ourselves to think positively, we can actually make positive outcomes more likely.


Do what you’re good at

Marti Barletta, from her “Strengths” essay in What matters now.

I worked on my weaknesses for 40 years to little avail. Still “needs improvement,” as they say. Why? Easy. We hate doing things we’re not good at, so we avoid them. No practice makes perfect hard to attain.

I, for one, can live with just doing what I’m good at!

What do you call this?, by Ken K. Liu

February 15, 2010   1 Comment

What is working, and how can we do more of it?

Moleskine Retro PDA Part1, by Stephen TicehurstIn the What matters now essay Change, Chip and Dan Heath provides the following story.

A troubled teenager named Bobby was sent to see his high-school counselor, John Murphy. Bobby had been in trouble so many times that he was in danger of being shipped off to a special facility for kids with behavioral problems.

Most counselors would have discussed Bobby’s problems with him, but Murphy didn’t.

MURPHY: Bobby, are there classes where you don’t get in trouble?

BOBBY: I don’t get in trouble much in Ms. Smith’s class.

MURPHY: What’s different about Ms. Smith’s class?

Soon Murphy had some concrete answers: 1. Ms. Smith greeted him at the door. 2. She checked to make sure he understood his assignments. 3. She gave him easier work to complete. (His other teachers did none of the three.)

Now Murphy had a roadmap for change. He advised Bobby’s other teachers to try these three techniques. And suddenly, Bobby started behaving better.

The moral of the story is, in their words:

You’re probably trying to change things at home or at work. Stop agonizing about what’s not working. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s working well, right now, and how can I do more of it?”

December 24, 2009   2 Comments