When you, or someone close to you, runs into a problem, what’s your first instinct?
Is it to find where the fault is, or to find a solution?
Comedian Bill Cosby, in a televised routine, talked about, obviously from a male perspective, how your wife is NOT your friend. She is your wife.
Cosby cites the example of a man whose car broke down in the middle of the night, somewhere a distance from home. Whom should he call first: his wife, or his friend?
The friend, Cosby asserts, will first ask: “Are you all right?” Then, he will ask, “Where are you?” Then, he’ll say, “I’ll be right there.”
His wife, on the other hand, will first tell him, “I told you to get that car fixed.” You can imagine where the conversation goes from there.
It begs the question: when you are confronted with a problem, do you instinctively act to solve it first, or do you instinctively look for whom to blame for it first?
Some circumstances are avoidable. Some are not. Some you can prevent. Others you can’t. The point is, you identify the type of circumstance you are in AFTER you act to get out of it.
Leadership expert and author John Maxwell, and perhaps others, have said that we either succeed or learn. We should use our failures as learning experiences. But those lessons should come after we have acted to correct what is wrong.
Certainly, the Cosby routine is funny. We all have to laugh at ourselves. Many spouses are friends. But if our instinct is to blame first, and solve later, we will find more success if we can change that in ourselves.
Getting laid off from a job is likely not your fault. If it is, you probably have more things to correct. If it is not, don’t wallow in who’s to blame for your circumstances. Act to change them. What you do after the fact IS your doing. Wishing things were as they had been is wasting your energy. Just presume those days will never come again, and move on to bigger and better things.
Be a realist, but only for a second. Realize that the past is past and the future is yet to come. Then, dream about what you want your future to be.
Realists tend not to dream, so that’s why you should only be realist for short periods, when circumstances hit. You are realist when you believe the good old days are gone. Then, resume your dream about the good things yet to come.
Today, there are many vehicles that can help make dreams a reality. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may realize your dreams quickly or slowly, but your dreams are there for the taking if you want to work for them.
Getting back to Cosby’s advice: if your car breaks down in the middle of the night, call someone who will take care of the problem first, without a lecture. Then, think about what you might have done to prevent it, so you can minimize or eliminate that situation again.
In life, you can follow Cosby’s advice by, as many leadership and motivational experts urge, RESPONDING to circumstances, rather than REACTING to them. Responding is positive. Reacting is negative. Solving is positive. Blaming is negative.
Be positive. Know that whatever circumstance you are in, the best life ever could be just around the corner, if you act and think correctly.