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Have you ever had a great day ruined by one bad experience?

Or a bad day saved by a positive moment?

You would think that logically a bad moment plus a good moment would equal a neutral experience, but it rarely seems to work like that.

It’s as though mixing black with white doesn’t equal grey, but it either becomes totally black or completely white, depending on our perspective and focus.

So how does it work for you?

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BRICKS (Photo credit: marc falardeau)

Two bricklayers were approached by a reporter.

The reporter asked the first bricklayer, “What are you doing?”

His response was to complain that he was virtually a slave.  An underpaid labourer who spent his days wasting his time, placing one brick on top of another for hours on end.

The reporter ask the second worker the same question.

His response, however, was quite different.

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Vultures fly over the landscape looking for the dead carcasses that they rely on for food.

They have incredible eyesight and can spot a dead animal from miles away.

Hummingbirds fly over the landscape looking for the flowers that they feed on.

They are attracted by the bright colours and consume the sweet nectar inside the flower.

Vultures fly over flowers and hummingbirds fly over dead animals, but they only notice what they’re looking for.

We’re not that different ourselves.

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We all have excuses for when we don’t achieve our goals or perform at our best.

  • Not enough time!
  • Not enough money!
  • Not educated enough!
  • Not smart enough!
  • Not old/young enough!

These are all resource issues.

However, consistently successful people don’t worry about what they do or don’t have, they do their best with what is available to them.

That’s called resourcefulness.

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I’m a genuine hack at golf.

However, I have learned one valuable lesson from the game that is relevant for many other areas of life.

If you ever have to hit your ball over a body of water, the temptation is to say to yourself repeatedly, “Don’t hit the ball in the water” before you take a swing.

Unfortunately, all that does is focus your subconscious mind on the obstacle in front of you, increasing your likelihood of actually hitting the ball into the water.

Instead, you need to focus on hitting the ball high into the sky and landing it safely on the other side.  This way of thinking will dramatically increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Remember this principle when confronted with other obstacles in life.

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Is the world full of obstacles or opportunities?

Is it full of people who have the potential to hurt you or those who need your assistance?

Is it a scary place to raise a family or are you excited about the future for you and your kids?

Is it full of free loaders and people who deserve the pain in their lives or do you need to do something to help?

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Photo from Flickr

I still have my old set of binoculars that I grew up with.  They’re somewhere in the garage now, but I used to use them often, mainly at sporting events or when bush-walking with the family.

I used to be fascinated at the difference that it made when you looked through either end. 

When used properly, things that are far away look close and when you look through the wrong end, things that are large and close seem to be tiny and a long way away.

What about in life?

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Man flu is the common ailment that many men have which has them thinking that the slight cold they have is the flu. 

It refers to the tendency that guys have to exaggerate symptoms and the reality that we generally have a lower pain threshold than women. 

Don’t argue guys, it’s true!

Whilst we joke about man flu, I often see the office equivalent that crosses gender lines and limits the effectiveness of far too many people and organisations.

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There are times in life when things seem to get on top of us.  When chaos reigns and circumstances seem to conspire against us.

During these stages in life, it can be very easy to fall into a victim mentality, to think that there’s nothing that you can do and that you’re destined to be unhappy.

Here are a few tips that I’ve used to halt that mindset and become optimistic and resourceful again:

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I was driving through our neighbourhood the other day and noticed some fantastic gardens.

The lawns were immaculate, the trees well pruned, the flowers in full bloom and there was hardly a weed in sight. 

I was impressed and immediately found myself wishing that I had a garden like that.

Of course, if I went to the owners and asked them how they got their garden in that condition, they would tell me that they had a plan, they took action, they made a few mistakes along the way that taught them some important lessons about gardening and they genuinely enjoy the process of creating a garden that they could feel proud of.

Then I thought about other aspects of life.

There are a lot of people who look at other’s careers and say, “I wish that I had a career like that.”

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