I’ve been carrying one of my favorite football quotes around with me for about 50 years.
Although I’m no longer certain who said it, it was a quarterback whose offense just came out on the field after the opponent’s punt pinned their team back near their own end zone. Despite the seemingly dismal situation, as his team huddled before their first play from scrimmage, he rallied them by saying something like, “The advantage is all ours because we know what we are going to do, and they don’t!”
Relabeling a seemingly negative situation into a positive one is a critical step in the goal-achieving process. If you know that the goal is the essence of the process, it forces you to maintain your focus upon it rather than being distracted by impediments along the way. The positive thinking process doesn’t guarantee success because impediments still have to be overcome – but it lets the goal, rather than the impediments, define the situation and the approach to it.
So much of success is a function of how we approach situations cognitively. Do we think in terms of what can go right, or do we overly focus upon what can go wrong? Do we summon our personal strengths and those things that we like the most about ourselves when we meet challenges, or do we forget how special we are at times when we need to be at our best? Do we focus on how hard it will be to go 95 yards to score a touchdown, or do we remember that we know what plays we will be calling and the other team doesn’t?
Thinking about what can go right establishes the mindset that will help us to seek solutions to challenges that we face. That enables us to deal with a challenge by taking charge of the process and turning it to our advantage.