“Leaders Think And Talk About The Solutions. Followers Think And Talk About The Problems.” – Brian Tracy

Think about how you approach challenges in your life. Then take it a step further and think about how the people you choose to be around approach challenges in their lives.

Maybe you work with them, maybe they’re your friends or family members. Regardless, you’ll likely be able to tie their approach to challenges to other decisions they make on a regular basis.

Do you find yourself dwelling on the problem at hand, rehashing it over and over again? Questioning how this possibly could’ve happened? Dwelling on a problem only leads to one result: Perpetuating the problem itself.

Think about it this way: Have you ever heard about a car accident that happened in the middle of nowhere? Maybe someone had a collision with a pole, or a tree, or the only other car on the road. How could this have possibly happened when there was so much empty space around them?

The answer is simple: We gravitate towards what we focus on. It’s why when we learn to throw or hit a baseball as a child, we are always told to “aim for the plate” or “keep your eye on the ball.” Our energy and our attention moves us – both mentally and physically – towards where our focus lies.

The same applies to problems and solutions in our lives. Whether personal or professional, you probably know people who seem to be followed around by drama or conflict. You wonder how they always seem to be in the middle of some sort of issue.

Talk to that person. Ask them about what’s going on. One could venture a guess that all you will hear about is the problem itself. They will continue focusing inwards on all of the negative happening and therefore continue their own vicious cycle.

This is not about victim blaming, it’s about focus, perspective, and accountability. Talk to someone you respect. A leader – not just by title, but by personality – and get their perspective on their problems.

You won’t hear about a lack of challenges, but you will hear about solutions to those challenges. Ways they overcame struggles or adversity in their life. You will not hear about how they were followed around and held back by what seems to be a living spirit of misfortune.

That’s because leaders are always choosing to move forward and surrounding themselves with those who do the same. They learn quickly that negative people who tie their identity to their own struggles very rarely break out of that cycle. How could they? Their energy continues attracting the negative. Their actions sabotage themselves in order to reinforce the narrative that they are always the victim or always at a disadvantage.

It’s not easy to simply flip a switch and change your perspective on a problem, but it is possible. Test yourself the next time you’re faced with a challenge. Pay close attention to which side you are focusing on, and really push yourself to focus on finding a solution rather than rehashing the problem.

Once you begin to see your own positive outcomes from making these changes, you’ll never go back to the way things were before.