Beware of the Black Dot!3 min read

I think we, as human beings, are wired a little bit interestingly. What I mean by that is we have a tendency to focus on everything that goes wrong, the things we haven’t mastered, and have a hard time patting ourselves on the back for the things we do well.  

I’d like to share a little exercise. Last week, we talked about the nine dots and thinking outside the box. This week, on a piece of paper, draw one big dot directly in the center.

Now, what do most of us see on this paper? Most of us, naturally are most likely focusing on this one thing, that one big dot in the middle. And that dot could be the one thing that we don’t do well, the one thing that we didn’t do good the other day, or the one sale we didn’t close, or the one conversation that didn’t go right. We focus on what went wrong. As leaders, if we do that with ourselves, how are we going to focus on our team? We’re going to notice what they do wrong, and we might not notice what they’re doing right. We won’t be praising them accordingly. They won’t feel like they’re wanted or appreciated. In return, they won’t be working at full capacity of productivity, which of course is going to hurt the flow of your business which eventually will erode your margins.

Instead of focusing on this one dot, why don’t we focus on all the space surrounding it? All the possibilities of what can happen when we focus on the good. Because I believe there’s plenty of good going around. Where your focus goes, your energy flows. It’s very simple. What you focus on in life, that’s what you’ll get. If you are married, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are certain things our spouse can do to annoy us. However, if we focus on that, how’s that marriage and relationship going to go? However, if we focused on the things that we love about this person, that’s what we’re going to get. And with this, our marriage will be bountiful and abundant.

So instead of focusing on the one thing that’s not going right (the black dot), focus on all the possibilities and the things that are going right. Take the time to search out. Praise your team, praise yourself, practice what I call the win journal. Every morning, write down five things you’re grateful for. After that, write down your biggest win from the prior day. What does this exercise create? It gets you focused on the abundance and gratefulness of all the things we have in our life. This practice immediately gets me focused on the one thing I did well the day before and all of what I am grateful for. It gets my mind right, it starts my day right, and it gets me looking for the good stuff.

So instead of focusing on the dot and what’s going wrong, focus on all the happenings in your world that are going right. And I guarantee you will get more of it. I hope this has been a valuable lesson. Thank you for joining me, Coach Michael. Let wish you a productive and profitable week.  

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