Focus on the Opportunity; not the Obstacle

Over the years, I have noticed that most people including me tend to spend too much energy on the hurdles, obstacles or problems and less so on the opportunities. This tendency usually leads us to getting worn out and not getting to build on the opportunity.

Research studies claim that it is our human tendency to focus on negative situations rather than positive ones. We tend to talk more about what goes wrong in our life than what goes right in our life. This is a product of ou Egoic Mind that desperately needs a good story to hang its hat on.

Imagine that you start the day with 100 cycles of energy. If you were to plan the expenditure of energy judiciously, would we expend most of it on obstacles or hurdles or conserve enough of the energy to tackle the real opportunities that are present before us? In most cases, we unwittingly devote most of our energies to the problem areas in our life and have very little left over to take advantage of the many breaks that appear from time to time.

As Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”

What happens if your mind is too consumed in the adversity or the failure or the heartache?

It will miss the seed of equal or greater benefit.

About Krishna Pendyala

Author of "Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing SUCCESS and true HAPPINESS". I am a life coach, speaker and workshop leader. My vision is to enhance life on our planet by raising awareness of the ego, in a simple manner. My commitment is to empower men and women make better choices to achieve joy and fulfillment, without protracted struggles or huge personal crises. I believe we can create an enlightened society where inner awareness empowers people to thrive in harmony.
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4 Responses to Focus on the Opportunity; not the Obstacle

  1. Lisa Vidt says:

    Hi Krishna, I have a story to share regarding this post.
    I was diagnosed with Diabetes in late 2010. My doctor wanted to start a regime of an oral antidiabetic medication. Instead of accepting the Diagnosis and moving on with treatment, I asked my doctor if I could try diet and exercise for 3 months. He agreed. Instead of diet and exercise I went into a state of depression and feeling sorry for myself and decided I was not ready to accept the diagnosis. I saw myself as being in mourning over the loss of a normal body function. I went ahead with ignoring the diagnosis and never followed up with my physician until 6 months later. When I accepted the diagnosis and was prescribed an oral medication and then met with a nutritionist and started to actually follow the recommendations of my doctor and the nutritionist, I started to see the “benefit” of becoming a diabetic. It turns out the medication I was prescribed seems to have given me an appetite supressant “benefit”. Also the nutritional changes I have made in my diet have benefitted me as well. My weight is currently down by 13 pounds and I feel and look better since I took over the control from my “egoic” mind and accepted the “obstacle” that was bestowed upon my life. I didn’t realize that this was what was going on, but after reading your post “focus on the opportunity, not the obstacle”, I realized my story fit right into what you describe in your post. Thank you, Krishna for all of your posts and for sharing the posts via e-mail as you inspire me and my husband and daughter as well.

  2. Thank you Lisa for generously sharing your experience. Very powerful story!

  3. Ned says:

    Krishna – Good post. There is an analog to this in my business (venture capital) in that many people tend to spend more time trying to fix failing companies rather than focus time on the winners in a portfolio. Given that my business is asymmetric in returns, i.e. one success overcomes many failures, the rational way to prioritize time is one the successes or potential successes to maximize the upside. In my dealings with people, the opposite asymmetry often shows itself in that about 10 good deeds feel diminished by one negative thing (Gretchen Rubin’s recent book, The Happiness Project, quotes something similar and the exact study). It takes time and effort to cultivate the mental discipline to focus on the positives and it is worth it.

    • The private equity analogy is a great one. In my opinion, there are at least two reasons why people put good money after bad. 1. You/Ego cannot accept the finality of the loss. 2. You/Ego cannot accept that it made a mistake.

      On the interpersonal side, I have heard that it takes seven positives to overcome a negative. I need to find the source for that.

      Have a great day!

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