John Maxwell shares a beneficial leadership article related on focus for the positive rather than negative side with both projects and people:
STORY FROM WORLDS BEST HITTER TO BEST PITCHER — A young child tossed the ball into the air again, and took another mighty swing. The ball landed softly at his feet. “That’s strike two!” he yelled. “One more strike to go. Not a problem for the best hitter in all of baseball.” He threw the ball it the air once more, and once again he took a mighty swing. He swung so hard he spun around on his heels and fell down onto the grass. The ball lay nearby, untouched. The boy got up, dusted off his pants and cried out, “Steeeee-rike three! I’m out!” His mother called out, “Aren’t you upset you didn’t get a hit? After all, you’re the greatest hitter in all of baseball.” The boy turned to her and smiled. “No way! Since I struck myself out, I just discovered I’m the greatest pitcher in all of baseball!” Now THAT is a powerful positive perspective. Finding the good in every circumstance, looking for good instead of searching for the bad.
Chances are, you’ve met people like that young boy. People who, no matter the circumstances, no matter what’s going on around them, see the world through a positive lens. We call them many things – dreamers, optimists, romantics, idealists, star-gazers. But no matter what we call them, most of us like being around them. They bring hope. They bring energy. They bring a sense of possibility that helps ignite our own sense of belief. We may give positive-perspective-holders a hard time, but when push comes to shove, we want them on our team.
Because we know what the people with powerful negative perspectives bring. Those people have never met an opportunity that they liked. They see all the cracks, the blemishes, the reasons why something can’t be done. People with a powerful negative perspective may tell you that they actually understand the weight of the situation, but oftentimes they ARE the weight in the situation!
Don’t you find that to be true? In our current culture, negativity has somehow become synonymous with clear thinking and wisdom. Meanwhile, people with a positive outlook are considered naïve or willfully ignorant. And so folks that want to get ahead embrace the darkly cynical outlook that others have adopted, and then wonder why everyone has problems but so few people have ideas!
Because life provides enough challenges as it is. You don’t need to add to them. Instead, you need to focus your energy and thinking on becoming a person with a powerful positive perspective. Look for the good. Believe the good. Find others who believe as you do and partner with them to make a difference. Because this much is true: the only people who get things done are the people who believe something can be done.