How Do You Perceive the World?

Half-Empty? Half-Full? Or Just Happy There’s a Glass (Carine Clarke)?

Have you found yourself in your relationship comparing perspectives? At times do you think your partner is negative, identifying all the possible problems in a given situation and the lack of resources? Maybe they appear to you to be catastrophizing? OR, do you think your partner never sees the realistic elements and is not proactive in anticipating possible problems, always thinking situations will turn out perfect, and regardless is willing to give the shirt off their back? Maybe they appear to have their head in the clouds and avoid seeing things as they are?

It has been said time and time again that opposites attract. I believe that is in our inherent need for balance in our lives. It seems that we know that there is value in both extremes on a continuum with the middle the optimum point.

I would say when we first met, Mark and I were opposites. After 38 years, of exposure to different perspectives and learning to compromise and adjust our sails, it seems that we are becoming more like each other. Those opposing views and styles are now becoming more the same.

As a teacher and parent, I strongly subscribed to as positive psychology movement that embraced choice and empowerment. Our one son would often retort, “Mom you and the kumbaya, peace, love, and Bobby Sherman outlook! Be realistic!” I do believe I’m grounded in realism, however, Naveen Jain’s energizing optimistic talk during The Great Leadership Reset Forum, just made my rose-coloured glasses bigger and encrusted with shiny crystals.

Jain declares that “It only takes one person to say enough is enough” and to be a change agent. He emphasizes the importance of intent and that we follow our life’s purpose which he believes for each of us, is to apply ourselves to improve the lives of humanity. This significant business leader who hails from exceptionally humble roots, says we need to say, “I’m going to dream so big that people are going to think I’m crazy.” Jain embraces failure and experimentation and in the face of challenges he directs us to ask not how a problem can be solved but what will it take. His huge smile, energetic declaration to shoot for the moon, accept that all things are valuable, and embrace life’s ups and downs with a growth mindset will grab even the most skeptical of souls.

Jain’s message of optimism and the belief that with patience the momentum of exponential thinking will propel a fruitful abundance mentality is one that I believe is critical in our homes and schools. Given CoVid, climate change, civil unrest, and more it is easy to get distracted by the negative news and information overload. Many are feeling overwhelmed, including our kids. Today more than ever, as adults we need to be purveyors of optimism. Our children need to be encouraged and supported with hope. They need to see that with a mustard seed of an idea, optimism, patience, and persistence ideas can explode and gain momentum.

Halloween is around the corner so here is a quick ten-day activity with candies that can give your children the experience of exponential thinking.

Exponential Thinking Activity for Elementary School Children:

You will need nine 7-ounce bags of M&M candies. This will give you an extra bag for good measure.

Tell your child that there are 210 M&M candies in every 7-ounce bag. Give them the choice of having 3, 7-ounce bags (approximately 630 candies) of the M&M candies or one M&M that doubles every day for 10 days.  You will do the opposite of what they do. Who will be the winner?

Every day count out the M&Ms, doubling each day. Compare who has more until the tenth day. As you compare each day discuss. The person who took the three bags on day 8 might think they won, but then on day nine the candies jump to 512, and on day 10 to 1024! Hmm, discuss how that happened. Reflect on the role of patience and explosion in exponential thinking.

Flying Fairy with a Wand