What’s Your Mindset?

In my blog post of nearly a year ago, Forget the Macro Economy | Think Micro I made the case that there are some things we cannot control, like the macro-economy, and others we have at least some if not a lot of control, such as the micro-economy. The point I was trying to make was that we waste our time fretting obsessively about things we do not and cannot control. Note, I’m not saying to be unaware of the macro-economy. After all, we have to operate in it. But, we cannot afford to get stuck worrying about this and are better served by focusing on what we can control.

How do you do that?

The first thing I suggest is to be highly selective about listening to news. Too much negative news tends to makes us adopt a negative mindset. For example, we may hear that such and such company is closing some operations. Or, we may hear that the general industry we are in is experiencing a downturn. Just because another company is closing some operations does not mean we need to dwell on that negative news. The second example, while involving our particular industry segment, also does not mean we will be negatively impacted. Think about it. How often do you hear about a company that manages to grow during a severe recession? What did they do different? I think the first thing is they chose the news they digested, and as a result had a positive mindset.

An Analogy

I recognize that many people hate sports analogies, so just substitute another activity in the story if you so desire. I recall hearing about a baseball pitcher in the bottom of the last inning of a game. As I recall the details went something like this. His team was leading by one run, there was a runner on base, and he was facing a good hitter. The manager came out to talk to the pitcher and said, “No matter what you do, don’t throw him a low outside fastball.” Of course, from that point on all the pitcher could think of was a low outside fastball. You guessed it, that’s exactly what he threw and the batter hit a homerun to win the game. Throwing a low outside fastball was the pitcher’s mindset.

What You Think About Matters

Like the pitcher, what we focus on tends to become our reality. If someone goes into an interview thinking they will make a terrible impression, it is highly likely that is what will happen. The key here is that the individual did not have to make a bad impression. He or she could just as easily have assumed a positive mindset of success. You may be familiar with the practice of visualizing what you will do and a positive outcome. What you are really doing is establishing a mindset of success.

So as you approach any activity (including running a business), be careful of the mindset you assume. It will dramatically impact your results. The good news is you can choose your mindset. This thought is expressed in the Bible in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

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As always, your comments are welcomed.

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