Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fear or Opportunity

Today I was asked how people go from fear of their challenging workout sessions to actually looking forward to the workouts. The answer is very simple, and very difficult (for some). It is quite simply a choice. A choice between being fear-based or opportunity-based.

When we are fear based, we exist at low levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs: reward and punishment are our motivators. "If I get through this wall sit I get a rest" and so on. Fear is about survive. Opportunity, on the other hand, is about THRIVE.

People who are opportunity-focused ask themselves, "what am I capable of today?" "Can I do more than last time?" "Maybe I can beat my own record"
Opportunists see the forest through the trees and are able to perpetuate opportunity out of challenging circumstances. For example, today during the same hour customer in question posed the axiom to me, another customer was able to, while working their tail off - shout encouragement to another customer who was struggling with their workout. The opportunist combined helping others with helping themselves and improving their fitness into the same hour.

Opportunists move themselves (and others) forward at almost every juncture. Fear-focused people often fail to move themselves forward even during something as positive as exercise. If fear is the driver - the 'little extra' required to push new fitness levels and actually observe what's going around you during moments of adversity- is buried beneath the fear.

We must realize that while the above example pertains to exercise, the lesson applies to our social lives, finances, business, everything. We either maximize by focusing on (and thus seeing and capitalizing on) opportunity, or we are consumed by and thus paralyzed by fear.

It is literally a series of choices stemming from our mental focus that separates the most successful people you know - from the cautionary tales.

What's driving you?

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