Focus on what you have, not on what is missing

When I was a kid, Lego theme boxes were my favorite toys. They were a set of colorful interlocking blocks that had a special theme. The memory of losing a block or two from the set is still vivid. It used to be a catastrophic day for the whole family. I would complain about the missing blocks like anything and would believe that the whole theme has become useless.

Maybe I was too immature to realize that I still had many of the blocks left and I could build tons of new stuff out of them! But, was it only me?

I remember my mother losing a piece of her favorite china set. Her reaction was not very different from mine. I can still recall my sister losing one of her blue crayons from a box of 36-crayons. Her reaction was much more horrible, even though there were a couple of similar blue shades left in the box.

It is human nature that we admire and value perfect things in our lives. A missing part, no matter how insignificant, will attract our attention more and create a sense of incompleteness. Dennis Prager, a famous writer, has termed this phenomenon as The Missing Tile Syndrome. According to him, a missing tile on the ceiling will attract and become focus of our attention and denies us the satisfaction of having a near to perfect ceiling.

When we have this attitude in our lives, we stop enjoying what we have and start focusing more on what we don’t have! We associate not having a certain skill, capability or resource as our weakness.

Focusing more on weaknesses (what we don’t have) pushes us into the mindset, where we start overlooking our strengths (what we have). We keep on complaining about the things that we don’t have instead of acknowledging what we have. Some relatively positive people, start working on their weaknesses to overcome them without realizing the fact that devoting same effort and resources on their strengths will bring more success and better outcomes.

This mindset cause dissatisfaction about others as well. We always look for shortcomings in them, ignoring their strong points. Our relationships suffer as we magnify the missing talents, overlooking the existing qualities of the other person.

Every day, we share and forward hundreds of videos and posts about underprivileged and special people, achieving much more in life than what they are capable of with their limited resources. These stories inspire us, but when it comes to our lives, ironically, we behave in the opposite way, like victims. 

A coach, can help you build a progressive mindset towards life by shifting your focus towards your strengths and leveraging them to their fullest potential. He has an advantage of outside’s perspective that enables you to see endless possibilities.

Life is like a box of Lego blocks, you can either complain about the pieces that you have lost or build something amazing from the rest …

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