How many times have you heard people ask… "Is he or she a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty person?" It's a simple question designed to get at how people generally perceive and approach life. Are they a positive or negative person, an optimist or pessimist, a doer or a doubter, etc.? In actuality, this is an irrelevant question because the the answer is it's both. The opportunity is to focus on making the most of what's in the glass.
In preparation for an upcoming radio interview I was asked to prepare my thoughts on how the Boomer generation should approach shaping their lives for the future. So I put a half full/half empty glass in front of me for some self inspiration.
I am 66 years old and have been blessed to have a good life, a wonderful family, and a pretty successful career. At age 60 I discovered Asset-Based Thinking and since then I have found more meaning in work, determination, personal fulfillment, confidence, and humility than I could ever have imagined.
As I contemplated what’s ahead, I found it very rewarding and hopeful to look back through the lens of Asset-Based Thinking with a "what's in the glass" mindset and imagine the upside of the future.
Here are five ABT insights that are guiding me, and that I hope will help you.
Power is Who You Are, Not What You Have.
You always have something of value to add. Always. Be authentic. Expose yourself. Rather than relying on external sources to fuel your progress, look inside yourself to find your Signature Presence…your unique combination of passions, capabilities, qualities, values, and beliefs. Let passion be your power and the most magnetic version of you will shine through. Embrace your assets. Never doubt them. Put them out there for people to see, and watch what happens.
Forget Perfection. Pursue Progress.
Preoccupation with eliminating flaws to achieve perfection is pointless and invites self-absorption. Relentlessly pursuing progress promotes self-awareness and growth. Measure everything you do by the progress you make and your aspirations. Never stop learning.
Be an Opportunity Advocate Rather than a Problem Solver.
I spent most of my early years in business helping clients avoid or solve problems. And why not? Solving problems yields tangible results and gets you a pat on the back. The problem with a problem fixation is that it usually protects the status quo and, at best, winds up being a zero sum game. Try seeing problems as just a pause. See through them and focus on what you can accomplish by spending most of the time seizing opportunities, finding the potential in people rather than seeing their shortcomings, and taking opportunistic risks rather than avoiding them. Jump in. Immerse yourself in opportunities.
Mentors Matter – Imitate Shamelessly and Often.
No matter how long you’ve been at it, you can be both a mentor and mentored. They go hand in hand. Everyone needs guidance, inspiration, and motivation. Find people you admire and put them on your Mt. Rushmore. Let them know how much you admire them and why. Mentoring can come from anywhere, anyone, at anytime. Keep your vision turned on and tuned in so you don’t miss the many gifts that mentoring brings.
Live Legacies Now.
Leaving a legacy makes your life meaningful. Living your legacy changes the game because what you do right now contributes to your legacy in real time. Building your legacy in the present inspires others. We all have at least one “Mighty Cause” in us…a reason for being that gives us special meaning. Finding yours and making that part of your legacy is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
Life is good. The life you can imagine and create is even better. Live on the upside.