A Familiar Story, New Focus

Has anyone ever told you a story you’ve heard many, many, many times before? You know it pretty well, but this time, the person telling it focuses on a different part or puts the emphasis in a different spot and suddenly the whole story is changed for you.

I had this experience in church on Sunday. The story was how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Normally, the focus of this story is that all 5,000 people were fed and there was food left over.

However, when Pastor Grace told this story on Sunday, she asked “What if the miracle wasn’t that everyone was fed? What if the miracle was that they gave thanks for the little that they had?” These questions completely changed the way I heard and viewed the story.

Have you heard of the term “lack mentality”? Basically, it describes coming from a place of lack, a place (or feeling of) of never having enough and always needing more or fearing that something might not be available when it’s really needed. When someone is coming from a place of lack two things tend to happen:

  1. You never have enough
  2. You miss or under-appreciate what you do have

When you reframe the story by asking “What if the miracle was that were thankful for what they had?” it shifts the story somehow. You notice that they weren’t focusing on what they lacked. Instead, they appreciated what they did have when it would have been perfectly natural to do otherwise.

And thinking about all of this naturally leads to the next questions: “What are you focusing on?” and “What are you thankful for?”

What does this have to do with your business? What does it have to do with getting things done? It has everything to do with both of those things. In our businesses we tend to notice when we don’t have enough clients, money or time. Yes, it’s important to recognize when those things are a problem, but we often do it without noticing that we also have things to be thankful for.

You focus on needing more clients, but aren’t grateful for the ones you have. You  focus on a goal that wasn’t met, but don’t recognize the progress you made toward the goal. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

So, instead of focusing on how little money, time or whatever that you have (or don’t have), what if instead you spent that time (and energy) focusing on how wonderful it is that you do have some money, time or whatever? How would that shift your view? Your attitude? Your business? How would that shift your story?