Sunday, November 18, 2007

Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For..

I had an interesting discussion with someone close to me. We were discussing the challenges of being a single person and finding the "right" person. She said her new approach is to identify what she wants, the desirable traits. If she finds someone who meets these points, then she would pursue the relationship and they could work through the other not-so-desirable points. (By the way, there are some traits in the No-Compromise Zone; I'm referring to those that can be worked through a compromise).

Too often, people work backwards - eliminate based on the undesirable points and do not look further. So, they feel all they've found are people with undesirable traits. Of course, if you are looking for X, you will find X. So, why aren't you looking for the positive traits instead?

Now, I'm going to stretch the context of this theory further and let it adapt to different circumstances. Let's say there's a new project at work and along the way, there will be problems along the way. It's only normal that there will be human error, communication failures and other unforeseen issues. You can look and you will see all of those. The project looks absolutely riddled with failures! You can moan, "We never win."

However, if you set your milestones - the desirable points - you may find you have met them. And, you can add those 'failures' to your column of "Challenges Faced." Then, you would be able to forecast how to avoid them in the future.

OK, still not buying this theory? When people have a negative attitude, it filters out everything positive that they could see.

"Let's go out to lunch. Italian?"
"No, it's too heavy."
"No it's too spicy."
"No, it's all that MSG. There's nothing to eat." (Sigh.. woe is me..)

Or, you can look at it "I can get a nice fresh salad with olives and balsamic vinaigrette, if we do Italian." "Or, "hey, they have a good crunchy pad thai" or "That Chinese place has excellent vegetable dumplings steamed in banana leaves."

Life is about making choices and we make choices on how we look at things. So, we can't complain that we never find what we're looking for. The problem is that we're looking for the wrong things.


ZenDenizen said...

Are you always so full of sunshine? :)

Anonymous said...

Definitely not!!!

Minutes after I posted this blog this a.m., my daughter and I got into a pissing match about a toothbrush. She gave me an icy attitude me for at least the next half hour til her violin lesson. No, definitely not full of sunshine all the time -- you can go ask her! :-)

I forced myself to cool off and not be bothered by her. But, I acknowledge that this is a conscious thing at times.

Venkat said...

Ashini: you are informally re-discovering the whole strengths movement :) Check out the works of Markus Buckingham ("Now, discover your strengths"). At the level of organizations, the same thinking is reflected in the work of Larry Collins ("Good to Great")

Anonymous said...

Venkat - say what!?

more books to read.. actually probably write, since I know all about this already (tongue firmly in cheek)