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29 Worn Out Perspectives in Need of the “Oh Really?” Factor

29 Worn Out Perspectives in Need of the “Oh Really?” Factor

    We all have places in our lives where we get stuck, augured in by a particular belief like, “work is hard,” or “children are too expensive,” or “politicians are evil.” To make matters worse, we often can’t distinguish between the truth and a disempowering belief because we attach little refrains like, “that’s just the way it is.” It’s as if our minds have become the honeymoon destination for Archie Bunker and Nurse Ratched.

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    If we really listen, we will hear a quality of flatness, resignation or a dissonant righteousness in our speaking. To bring choice, openness, and inquiry back into your reality try adding the challenge “oh really?” to these 29 worn out perspectives (or your own) and turn up the heat on those victim-making, life-killing, soul-sucking, war-making phrases that have been sapping your fulfillment.

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    1. I don’t have the time.
    2. Everything on my to-do list is important and essential.
    3. I can’t quit. If I do, everything will fall apart.
    4. If I take time off, I’ll lose my game.
    5. Nobody will hire me, I’m too old.
    6. You’re supposed to get married and then have the baby.
    7. Get your diploma, go to college, get a master’s, get married, get a career, have a family, grow old, die.
    8. I need an MFA to get published.
    9. Art is good, but if you want to make a living, you have to get a real job.
    10. I am a complete loser without my [to-do list] [blackberry] [iphone] [rolodex].
    11. You’re a loser if you use a rolodex.
    12. I can’t delete all those emails.
    13. You have to get a telephone. Everyone has a telephone.
    14. Nobody will respect me if I don’t have a Ph.D.
    15. I have to know how it ends before I begin.
    16. You have to start at the bottom if you want to get to the top.
    17. A black man can never be president.
    18. My vote doesn’t count.
    19. Women over 50 should not have long hair.
    20. I’m not creative.
    21. Investing is pointless as my age; I should have started years ago.
    22. It’s all my mother’s fault.
    23. It’s all your mother’s fault.
    24. I don’t have any choice.
    25. If I don’t make it by 30, I never will.
    26. If you’re an artist, you need a career to fall back on.
    27. Finding love is just not in the cards for me.
    28. I’d rather travel, but I have to get a degree first.
    29. There’s nothing I can do about it (the all-time favorite).

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    Now that you’ve disrupted the homeostasis, what other perspectives are now clamoring to be heard?

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2020

    Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

    Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

    Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

    Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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    Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

    However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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    The leap happens when we realize two things:

    1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
    2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

    Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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    Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

    My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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    In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

    “Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

    Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

    More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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