The path to improvement

Our thoughts create our reality — where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.
Peter McWilliams
1949 – 2000

Nearly everyone I know wants to improve some area of their lives; every person I work with is certainly looking to make a change for the better. Yet far too many people focus on the wrong thing.

Let me share with you an experiment carried out at the University of Wisconsin. The researchers selected two bowling teams, determined a baseline performance level for each group, and videotaped the teams in action. Then the researchers edited the tapes. One team was given a film that contained only their mistakes, while the other was given a film that contained only their successes. Each group was instructed to study their film in an effort to improve performance.

Do you believe there was a difference in the improvement shown by the two teams? If so, why?

(Be sure to answer those questions before you continue reading.)

The researchers measured the results. The team that studied their successes improved their results by twice as much as the team that only studied their mistakes.

What does this mean for you? Well, most of us focus on what we do wrong. We constantly beat ourselves up over our mistakes. But by focusing on our errors, we actually increase the likelihood of repeating them. It’s been said that what you think about, you bring about, and that’s absolutely true. The more you focus on your mistakes, the more you’ll continue to make them.

The answer is to spend more time and energy studying your successes. Focusing on your successes increases your positive expectations. And when you learn what you’re doing that works, you can make use of those strategies and techniques more often.

If you want to improve your life, don’t pore over your mistakes. Determine what you’re doing right and focus your time and energy building on that success.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
Denis Waitley
1933 –

Copyright © 2018 John Chancellor


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