look beyond your 8″ frying pan for success
By zubin zack
Insights | November 20, 2015
Since I can remember, I always wanted to live a life of significance; a life with a positive impact. I have always believed that things could be made better. While many negative “what if” scenarios cloud our minds, it is true that finding that one particular positive “what if” can help us instead.
It isn’t always useful to dwell on regrets and mistakes from the past. There are times when we believe that life is not playing out as per our plans, but there are also moments when everything unexpectedly falls into place.
Here is a story that perfectly showcases how negative “what if” questions can ruin opportunities at hand. One fine day, two friends went fishing, and while both had their respective catches, one friend kept catching big fish but tossing them back into the sea. Out of curiosity, the other friend asked why he was throwing away such big fish. The answer took him aback. His friend replied that he had to discard the big fish because he only had an 8-inch frying pan, and any fish bigger than that was too big. How he wished he had a bigger frying pan!
Needless to say, his friend was aghast. He could have just cut the fish in half and cooked them! This story perfectly rounds off where we go wrong in life. Just like this person, we may throw away many opportunities in our life when we get caught up in the “what if.” The trick here is to remove the negativity and carefully scrutinize all of our options.
In my role as a leader I always ask positive “what if” questions. It helps me make the correct decisions in the right direction. At times I write the consequences of the scenario at hand and then deliberate over them to arrive at the right conclusion. This helps me strike out all the possible anomalies and believe in the decision that I am about to make.
This is what you can do to make correct decisions.
- Always see if the overarching decision will help you in the long run. Don’t get influenced by only the tactical consequences or short term impact. Focus on what is the right thing to do instead of just the easy thing to do.
- Don’t indulge in insignificant worry. Negative thoughts cloud logical thinking and do not lead to positive results. Learn to understand the difference between what you can control and what you cannot, and accept the things you cannot control or influence.
- Think about the positive consequences first. No matter what others think, you are the master of your own destiny, and hence should take your own decisions. Just as success breeds success, one positive thought will lead to other positive possibilities. Influence your mind firstly with all the possible positive outcomes of your decision, and then put down possible negative impacts to weigh them logically against one another.
- Plan and plan well. After all, there is no substitute to future outlook and covering all the bases before taking the plunge. Put to paper what you seek to achieve, and list out the steps to achieve it. Keep asking “what if” at every stage, but at the same time balance it with a “start acting and stop worrying” policy.
So, go ahead ask the constructive “what if” questions, and let the opportunities come knocking at your door. Whatever you decide, stick to it like a postage stamp and don’t stop working until you reach your destination. Make it the right decision!