Focus on Possibilities, Not Obstacles

by Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels

“My neighbor recently shared the story of a professor who handed out an exam to all of his students – one plain piece of paper with a black dot on it. There were no questions – nothing but a black dot. He then told them to write about what they saw. At the end of the exam he collected all the papers and started reading each one out loud. Without exception every student was focused on the black dot, what it meant, how it was positioned on the paper, etc.”

After all the reading was done, he said:

“I’m not going to grade you on this; I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives.”

He went on to explain that we all have this tendency to focus on what is wrong, what is troubling, what could happen, rather than all the good and all the possibility in our lives.

How often do you or I focus on what is wrong in Musekgon, what is troubling, what could happen, rather than all the good and all the possibility in our lives and in this community?

I reconnected with a community advocate colleague recently, one who reminded me of our work in a group called PositivelyMuskegon. That group was organized to generate community discussion over one issue, but the underlying commitment of the people in that group was to DWELL IN POSSIBILITY.

Decisions made in desperation—individual, corporate or community—are sourced on only seeing the small dot of a crisis, not the overwhelming abundance of resources—especially in other people.

The WatchmUSGOn campaign is filled with that possibility perspective.

Dwell means “to keep the attention directed.” What can we do as individuals in each of our families and professions this week to DWELL IN POSSIBILITY?

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