This unique journey has its ups and downs BY Archana Law

Thomas Edison once said that “when you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” Edison is known for having experimented with thousands of materials and designs while developing the incandescent light bulb.

In spite of countless failures and setbacks, he viewed each failed attempt as a valuable learning experience that brought him a step closer to finding the solution.

Author and Associate Professor Laura Huang had been in Elon Musk’s office less than 30 seconds when he told her to get out without offering any explanation. Though she and her colleague were being kicked out, she found herself laughing in surprise!

Musk also began laughing with her and they spent more than an hour discussing her research into private space travel.

With the business climate as it is today, most enterprises don’t really have a choice as to whether or not to implement change. Those who choose not to adapt and move with the times don’t stay ahead of the competition.

From ‘survival to success’ is a journey that many individuals and organisations embark upon. It represents a transition from simply getting by and overcoming challenges, to thriving and achieving meaningful goals.

Whether it applies to personal growth, career advancement or business development, there are key principles that can help you move from a state of survival to success.

THE PROBLEM ‘Probortunity’ is a great word that I often use. It’s a hybrid word that helps me view problems as opportunities. It is indeed a useful and constructive puzzle for the mind, and a way to positively navigate some of the many challenges that all of us will inevitably encounter in our journey through life.

Of course, there are times where this can be challenging. However, it is so much better to seek a solution than to give up and be trapped in an emotional cul de sac, feeling fed up and disillusioned.

THE MINDSET Once you believe that you have opportunities all around you, change begins to unfold in your life. If you are regularly looking for solutions to your problems, you’ll begin to attract opportunities. They will appear because you expect them to.

This is all part of using your mind to change how you view your issues. When you see everything as an opportunity instead of a problem, your focus will begin to shift. Before you know it, you’ll begin to experience real and lasting changes that will have a powerful effect on your life.

THE SOLUTION Consider what you need to resolve and how you can accomplish your goal. Dr. Stephen Covey’s popular Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence framework advises individuals to focus their energy and attention on areas where they can make a positive impact, and find solutions.

The Circle of Concern represents all the things that people are concerned about including external factors, and events or circumstances that may be beyond their control (e.g. global problems, societal issues or overwhelming personal challenges).

On the other hand, the Circle of Influence represents the areas over which individuals have direct control or influence – such as personal attitudes, behaviour, relationships and actions.

STAY POSITIVE A positive mindset plays a crucial role in enabling people to bounce back from setbacks and overcome obstacles through resilience. It cultivates optimism, and helps them see possibilities and explore alternative solutions, while remaining open to new ideas and perspectives.

Positive minded people are more likely to set ambitious goals, stay committed and take consistent motivated action towards reaching their objectives.

Most importantly, when people believe in themselves and their potential for success, they are more likely to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and seize any opportunities that present themselves.

MANAGE EMOTIONS Emotional intelligence or EQ (emotional quotient) plays a significant role in managing setbacks effectively for individuals, communities and organisations.

Self-awareness helps people recognise and understand their own emotions and thoughts, and manage their reactions when faced with setbacks. Empathy helps create a supportive environment, and foster collaboration and the will to assist others when needed.

Similarly, businesses need to formulate plans and manage stakeholders’ reactions, and be able to identify when they are emotional responses.

The Transition Curve introduced by Ralph Lewis and Chris Parker identifies the emotional impact that those who are undergoing change may experience. These emotions could include feeling overwhelmed, denial, frustration and resisting reality, and then understanding and eventually integrating with the changes.

This journey from survival to success is never linear; and it will always involve troughs and peaks.