Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Benevolent or Malevolent?

I’ve recently just been introduced to a Brian Tracy's website. Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. His goal is to help individuals achieve personal and business goals faster and easier than they’ve ever imagined. While I don’t know him or his philosophies well, something he wrote resonated with me today:

“There are two ways to look at the world: the benevolent way or the malevolent way. People with a malevolent or negative worldview take a victim stance, seeing life as a continuous succession of problems and a process of unfairness and oppression. They don't expect a lot and they don't get much. When things go wrong, they shrug their shoulders and passively accept that this is the way life is and there isn't anything they can do to make it better.

On the other hand, people with a benevolent or positive worldview see the world around them as filled with opportunities and possibilities. They believe that everything happens as part of a great process designed to make them successful and happy. They approach their lives, their work, and their relationships with optimism, cheerfulness, and a general attitude of positive expectations. They expect a lot and they are seldom disappointed.”

I don't believe that the primary goal of all that happens is to make a person successful and happy. That is a pretty egocentric point of view. There are certainly many definitions of the words “successful” and “happy.” However, I do believe his statement is true in general. People that are benevolent are optimistic, cheerful, and positive.

I have been making a conscious effort to focus on being benevolent recently. Unfortunately, some days that requires more effort than others for me. However, when I can achieve a benevolent attitude, my days generally do go better.

As an organization, Work Systems is setting big one-year and three-year goals. At times, I find it easy to fall into the temptation of thinking (and believing) that, despite good intentions, things will not change. And to truly expect big changes by simply changing an attitude, by being benevolent, is foolish.

Changing the future from the trends of the present or recent past requires solutions, creativity in problem-solving. But to effectively implement these plans, an attitude of benevolence is critical.

I invite you to pursue benevolence. Will you shrug your shoulders and accept the status quo as inevitable? Are you prone to believe that the current situation is unchangeable? Do you have a victim mentality?

Or are you making yourself aware of the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead? Are you viewing today as a stepping-stone for a brighter tomorrow?

Join me in expecting a lot, and you will not be disappointed.

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