We’re solidly into the new year. We have our vision boards done, goals planned, and “word” for the year set. I love that stuff and did it all. Yet, as I worked my plan, my actions felt hollow and unclear. There was something I wasn’t seeing.

It reminded me of those tricky Magic Eye 3D images from the ‘90s. The secret to those hidden images appearing is changing your point of focus, from being on the image to behind the image. The shift in focus allows the 3D image to appear.

I looked behind my actions to the core elements and a model emerged. Then I wondered, perhaps the world is that way, too? Like it seems one way, but appears differently if we change our focus…

Breaking from Bias

The natural tendency for human beings is to focus on what’s wrong. It’s called negativity bias, which Wikipedia defines as the “notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.”

That default bias leaves me drained and hopeless. It doesn’t propel me to take the actions necessary to accomplish my goals. Rather than continue the insanity of taking the same approach and expecting a different result, I choose to shift my focus.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I practice a strengths-based approach to life, focusing upon what works, what’s right. This is the essence of many popular practices, such as gratitude, celebration of accomplishments, even the Konmari method of tidying up based on joy.

At Our Best

As in those Magic Eye stereograms, a new view emerges when we shift our focus — to being our best, most joyful, fulfilled, and energized! This strengths-based approach frees us from powering through, forcing, and feeling bad.

We unlock ease, flow, and productivity. We take inspired action naturally and the quality of our work improves. We get energy from being in the zone!

When we do more of what’s life-giving, we develop an energy intelligence that powerfully interrupts the pattern of draining negativity bias.

You’re Winning the Game You’re Playing

That is the game I’m playing! You’re playing a game, too, consciously or not. So why not play the game you choose, rather than default to negativity? Why not give life a context of one’s choosing, and seek evidence of that? Share what your focus “word” or game is and some evidence that you’re already winning it!