I’m 100% sure you have faced this situation: You send out an email to a manager, asking for something. Then 2 days pass and you don’t hear from him. So, you start wondering what’s going on.
The reasons coming to your head:
- “He doesn’t reply because he thinks my request is stupid.”
- “He’s arrogant and doesn’t speak to people of lower rank.”
Then you start to look for confirming evidence. You’ve seen the guy in the canteen so he can’t be on holiday. And his smile was full of arrogance. The more you think of what you’ve observed the more sure you are: He really is a jerk!
Notice that even without having any confirmed information to back up your assumption, you immediately assume the worst.
Isn’t that weird?
Now you may be asking yourself “Are other people feeling the same? I thought it was just me”.
The answer is yes. We tend to respond to these kind of situations in a similar way. And it leads us to spin ridiculous stories in our mind. Although we know nothing about a given situation, we believe people have conspired against us. We think people want us to fail.
I guess this behavior is coming from the old days when we were still living in caves and we had to fend off dangerous creatures.
Be aware of this mental trap.
All it does is burn your energy and raise your level of anxiety.
I want you to trash this kind of negative thinking. Why?
95% of all people come with good intentions.
(I’ll be focusing on the 5% in a separate article)
The reason why somebody may not responding to you might be because they’re busy. Or, maybe they’ve already taken action on your inquiry but hadn’t found the time to reply. Maybe they had to deal with some emergency.
You see: there can be many reasons why things didn’t go as per your expectations. But you have no reason to presume bad intentions without having proper evidence.
Therefore you should always assume the best!
Always assume the best
What does that mean? Repeat after me:
- “People generally are helpful.”
- “People want to do their work in the best way possible.”
- “If I don’t get a reply as quickly as I expect, it might be because the person on the other end is busy or has other good reasons that’s keeping her from responding.”
- “If somebody is opposing my project, it might be because the person is afraid of change.”
- “If somebody is opposing my project, it might be because I haven’t done a good job in explaining what it’s about.”
You can add more items to this list.
If you internalize these points and make positive thinking a habit, your life will change. Seriously. I’m saying this from my own experience. Once I dismissed all my negative thoughts and my cynical attitude, everything changed. I instantly became happier and a more pleasant person to be with (ask my wife). Needless to say I also became more effective at work.
What I’ve given you above are not the only benefits of positive thinking. There is another important advantage.
We humans feel more attracted to people who exude positive emotions. That’s because subconsciously we interpret positive attitude as a marker for success. And thus for better genes. Guess why celebrities receive so much admiration from the public?
By exuding a positive atmosphere you will be far more successful in leading people. And you are far more likely to get what you want. In your project, at work and in life.
Wow – I just gave you a great tip on how to become successful.
Do you want to hear another great tip?
Show other people that you care about them. Send this article to one of your coworkers.