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How Reframing Events Leads to Success

How Reframing Events Leads to Success


    Have you ever wondered how some people always manage to achieve success in life even when they are going through traumatic events or situations?

    What’s their secret?

    I’ve researched what the most successful people do when the going gets tough and there’s one killer technique that I’m going to share with you today that you can start using immediately.

    This is it:

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    ‘Reframing’ Situations

    Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we can always ‘reframe’ our situation. So – no matter how bad everything appears to be, we always have the choice to make ourselves feel better by changing the way we view our problems or situations.

    The key point is this:

    We can’t always change the things that happen to us in life, but we can change the way we view them

    Here’s an example of a smart student using the ‘reframe‘ technique to help her parents ‘view’ a situation differently:

    Dear Mum and Dad

    Apologies for taking so long to write, but my writing utensils were destroyed in the fire at my apartment. I am out of the hospital and the doctor says I should be able to lead a healthy normal life. A handsome young man called Pete saved me from the fire and kindly offered to share his apartment with me. He is very nice and drives a lovely motorcycle, which I like to travel on with him – we go so fast and it is fun. I think you’ll be happy when I tell you that he did the right thing and we got married last week…you see you’re going to be grandparents very soon.

    Actually – there was no fire, I haven’t been in hospital, I’m not married and I’m not pregnant. But I did fail my biology exam and I just wanted to make sure that when I told you, you put it into proper perspective.

    Love Your Daughter

    So essentially, ‘reframing’ events is a way of changing your ‘perspective’ in life so that you don’t get so caught up in everyday problems.

    The way that we choose to ‘frame’ our lives will depend on our personal happiness and achievement.  The fact is that there will be times when you don’t have control over an event or a situation. You do though, have control over the way that you ‘view’ the event or situation.

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    You can choose to ‘view’ it negatively or you can choose to ‘view’ it positively.

    The research shows that those who reframe challenging events & situations positively will achieve much more success than those who reframe negatively.

    Why?

    In my opinion it can be easy to get caught up in everyday problems and this can block us from getting ahead. By ‘reframing’ events you can ensure you’re always moving forward and are not getting fixated on the problems in your life.

    It’s all about context –  if you perceive something to be bad – that is often because you are comparing it to something you perceive to be better.

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    So, take a lesson from the most successful people in history and choose to reframe positively.

    The inventor of electric light, Thomas Edison was a genius at ‘reframing’ events in his life and in my opinion it was this technique that powered him forward through every failure to his eventual success.

    Having been asked this question by a New York Times journalist: “How does it feel to have failed seven hundred times?”, Edison’s reply was as follows:

    I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated all the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.  - Thomas A. Edison

      Imagine what you could achieve if you began to ‘reframe’ the failures in your life instead of being blocked by them?

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      How Can you Start Reframing Today?

      1. The next time you notice yourself feeling frustrated about a situation or perceiving something to be ‘bad’, ask yourself how you can reframe it?
      2. Start by finding something worse to compare it to by thinking, “At least ‘X’ didn’t happen”.
      3. Try flipping the situation around to gain a positive from it.
      4. Think about what you have learned from the experience – this can often provide a positive reframe.
      5. Consider how the experience will help you move forward and remember that failure is always a pre-requisite for success.

      (Photo credit: Businessman Different View via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      Zoe B

      A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

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      Last Updated on November 18, 2019

      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

      Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

      How do we manage that?

      I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

      The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

      How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

        One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

        At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

        After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

        • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
        • She could publish all her articles on time
        • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

        Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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        1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

        When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

        My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

        Use this time to:

        • Look at the big picture.
        • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
        • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

        2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

        This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

        It works like this:

        Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

        By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

          To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

          Low Cost + High Benefit

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          Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

          Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

          High Cost + High Benefit

          Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

          Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

          Low Cost + Low Benefit

          This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

          These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

          High Cost + Low Benefit

          Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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          For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

          Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

            After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

              And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

              Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

              Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

              What to do in these cases?

              Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

              For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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              Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

                Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

                The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

                By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

                And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

                Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

                Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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                Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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