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Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Break the Cycle of Vicious Thinking



Vicious thinking is a process through which you allow your mind to think backwards. Ironically, it is lauded, by academics and business people alike, as an effective technique for moving your business forward. Could our thinking be flawed? If so, how could we break out of the cycle?
There's a well-established axiom in business that every problem can be solved eventually if it is first broken down into smaller and smaller parts. Those parts are then arranged sequentially so that the accomplishment of one is always dependent on the completion of the previous one. And finally, the steps are completed sequentially from the most basic to the end. In this way, it is claimed, all problems can be solved.
Whatever its merits, however, this approach can lead to what I call vicious thinking. This method is flawed because it forces you to think in the opposite direction of the one that you want to go. It's a cycle because you keep on doing it, and it's vicious because you can't seem to get out of it.
You're like a rat in a circular treadmill who's trying to get out by running faster.
How can you break out of the cycle of vicious thinking? By doing the opposite.
What would that look like? What would characterize proper thinking?
1. Look ahead.

A popular line in British pantomime is, "It's behind you." In business, the answer is not behind you, but if front of you. Productive thinking comes from concentrating on what is to come, rather than was has come and gone. If you keep looking back, you'll never move forward.
2. Think about what you must do to get to your goal
Don't spend time wondering how to build on where you are. Instead, imagine that you're starting from scratch. You are at A. How do you get to B?
3. Stay focused on B.
Don't look behind you. Don't be like the proverbial runner who lost the race because he or she was more concerned about where the nearest rival was than where the finish line was. Your goal is the checkered flag. Go for it.
And don't watch your feet either. You're feet are the propellers; your eyes are the rudder. As the pilot, make sure the rudder is taking you to where you want to go. If you spend all your time watch the propellers, then you'll lose your way. You'll simply fly until you run of power and crash into something you didn't know was there.
By the way, if you'd like more information, then you might like to get my free eBook on How to BE an Entrepreneur.
Or, if you want some help in finding your niche, then you might be interested in http://www.terrydeaninterview.com.


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