My wife and I were watching a movie. The script was poorly written and the acting was not very good. I complained about it. My wife replied, “Perhaps we could stop complaining and, instead, look for the positive.”
I was reminded of a story. My son told me about a man who attended a workshop on positive leadership. He had already determined to leave his organization. He knew he no longer wanted to be a manager so he would devote himself to the small company he was building in his free time. During the workshop the man was exposed to new assumptions about leadership. He was intrigued by the notion that he could engage people in a more positive way. He indicated that he would go back and genuinely try the new ideas.
A few months later my son made a scheduled coaching call. The man was excited to tell of the changes he had made and the extraordinary impacts that followed. He said that his own business has grown but he has no desire to leave the larger company. He was finding too much meaning in his work.
The morning after I watched the movie I was looking outside. The blind in the window was down leaving only a few inches of viewing space. I could see some grass and a portion of the pond behind our house. Suddenly the pond exploded with light. On the ripples there seemed to be a million sparkling diamonds. The image was so sudden and so extreme I raised the blind. The explanation was simple. Thick clouds had broken open just a bit, allowing the sun to shine down like an immense flashlight on the portion of the pond I was observing.
Conventional assumptions are like the blinds in my window. They limit vision. Most organizations and most people are governed by conventional assumptions. When they are exposed to the assumptions from the science of the positive, they see new opportunities. If they act on them, they create a new reality. In the new reality the organizational pond sparkles. The meaning of life increases.