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The First Step to a Better Life
- Read in 13 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 8 key ideas
One Decision (2020) is a guide to understanding the various thinking patterns that determine whether we see obstacles or opportunities. It breaks down why we often base decisions on the bleak outlook created by rigidity and confusion and provides practical tools for fostering an opportunity mindset and making life-changing decisions.
Key idea 1 of 8
Deciding to see opportunities can change your life.
What’s something that we all do, without fail, every single day?
We make decisions. About 35,000 of them, in fact.
Most of these decisions are instinctive; we’re not even aware of making them. We reach for the coffee every morning instead of making a cup of tea, or we tune into a preferred news channel. These decisions don’t impact us in major ways, but there’s one conscious decision that can bring positive change to our lives.
Whether it’s a dream career, a healthier lifestyle, or more fulfilling relationships, a better life isn’t something that just happens. It’s the result of many intentional decisions. And the first and most important of these is choosing to see opportunities rather than obstacles.
The key message here is: Deciding to see opportunities can change your life.
There are opportunities in any situation, no matter how bad it may seem. When you focus on them, you become optimistic and solutions-oriented. You can then take actions that allow you to grow, learn new things, and steer your life in positive directions. When you focus on obstacles, on the other hand, your problems seem unsolvable. You feel stuck and sorry for yourself. You might even blame others or make excuses for your circumstances.
A great example is a retiree who finds himself struggling financially. Looking at the obstacles, he might be disappointed at the thought of going back to work. He could worry that his skills are no longer relevant. But what if he decides to look for the opportunities instead? He could see this as a chance to learn something new. He could reach out to his network to ask if they know of any vacancies. One option keeps him stuck; the other moves him forward.
So what does it take to switch from an obstacle mindset to one primed for opportunities?
The key is understanding the thinking patterns that shape how we view the world. They determine whether we perceive opportunities or obstacles. The author sees these patterns as positive and negative forces. Allowing the negative forces to take over makes us pessimistic and blinds us to opportunities. And tapping into the positive forces reveals opportunities to us.
In the following blinks, we’ll learn more about each of these forces.