Tuesday, October 27, 2009
There's a big difference between seeing problems and being negative. It depends on your reactions to the problems. When some people see problems, they start to get frustrated. They sigh; they yell; and they think they are doomed. Another kind of reaction, which I would include in the category of positive thinking, is to actively seek solutions and take actions that will make things better.
Being able to identify problems is a skill. The positive attitude behind it is the audacity of hope. The Chinese phrase "crisis" comprises two characters: danger and opportunity. Seeing danger, and more importantly seeing opportunities in danger, gives people the courage to face reality and survive the crises. In the field of design, there are numerous examples where constraints are turned into the source of innovation. If you have a hopeful and constructive mind, challenge can always have positive influence and sparkle a new kind of creativity. "What's against it works for it."
In my opinion, the truly negative people are those who fear to face, or even don't care to understand reality. They live in their own world, like ostriches burying their heads in sand, pretending there's no problem and the world is all beautiful. This sounds nothing optimistic to me. It is just naivety. It is full of self-indulgence and lacks care. Of course, it's important to always look on the bright side, but it doesn't mean we should ignore the existence of the dark side. When small problems are neglected, they could accumulate and become big ones. Then it may be too late for any solution. In fact, ostriches are better than that. They actually do not bury their heads in sand. When threatened, they run away. I guess it's at least an acknowledgment of reality and probably the only one effective and constructive solution. If you know you can't win, RUN!