We live in a real world with real problems that are really challenging. It is foolish to attempt to dilute that reality with cheesy clichés or platitudes. The fact is, Nietzsche was wrong: it is not always true that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It is not always true that “every cloud has a silver lining.” But it is true that where you focus your energy and behavior has a significant impact on your results. I want you to ask yourself a simple question this month: are you opportunity-focused or obstacle-focused? When faced with business/personal opportunities or challenges, do you focus your attention on those things that are in the way or do you see the opportunity in spite of the obstacles? CAREFUL . . . it is a trick question. It is best if you are focused on both obstacles and opportunities with a stronger focus on the opportunity. It is the wise person who channels energy into the opportunity with a plan for how to overcome or avoid the obstacles.

Steps on how to eliminate or at least reduce obstacles:

1. Every day there are opportunities and obstacles . . . acknowledge that!
2. Choose to invest energy in those opportunities that have a high probability of a positive rate of return.
3. Acknowledge and evaluate the obstacles: can you change or eliminate them, can you influence them, or should you avoid them?
4. Eliminate “buts” and excuses, replacing them with a plan of action.
5. Adjust your strategy as needed.