Two friends go hunting out in the beautiful scenic Canadian Rockies. They hadn't seen each other in a long time and were enjoying catching up and remembering old times.
They had been hunting all day long without success and dusk was starting to set in. They were tired and hungry from the long day and decided to start to make their way home.
As they headed out of the forest they spotted a large grizzly bear ahead of them. They crouched down and took aim, taking extra care not to alert the bear of their presence. When the bear was within range they pulled their triggers.
They had been enjoying themselves so much that they had not realised they had both run out of bullets. The bear, having heard the clicks turned and spotted the two friends. Standing upright to his full 9 foot height he started to run towards them.
The first friend started to run.
The other friend whipped his boots off and pulled on a pair of trainers from his rucksack.
"What are you doing, you fool?" Cried the first friend "You will never out run that bear."
"I don't have to out run that bear" replied the second friend as he sped past.
My sincere apologies to anyone that is offended by hunting stories, I use this story purely to illustrate a point. I'd add that I have never been hunting in my life.
The point is we often focus on the things we can't do rather than the things that we can do.
How do we relate this back to our work environment? How often do we use the words I can't instead of the words I can? How often do we focus on things we can't change, the things outside of our control, instead of finding a way?
Sometimes the solution isn't obvious. Sometimes it takes some thinking outside of the box. All too often though, we are too focused on the problem to look for a solution.
It reminds me of the Honda adverts The Power of Dreams. It takes a change of mind set, but how different would the world be if everyone believed they can. Where there is a will, there is a way!
So stop looking at the big, scary Bear and start looking for the solution. Too often we focus on how good the competition is and lose sight of our own unique talent and abilities.