It has been said over and over again that our perception is our reality. What this means is that how we see the world is how our world appears to be to us. It doesn’t mean that what we perceive is true it just means it appears to be true to us at the moment.
I am a proponent of maintaining a positive outlook in every circumstance. It is especially important when undertaking the launch of a non-profit organization. I understand and believe that perceiving the positive aspects of every situation allows for positive outcomes, no matter how adverse situations may seem at any given moment. And those moments are sure to arise when launching any non-profit organization.
Problem vs. Challenge
Unless you’re a mathematician whose entire focus is on tackling and solving mathematical problems, you probably see difficult things that come up in your life as “problems.” When you see difficulties as problems, the tendency is to worry. As Webster’s defines it, a problem is something that is a “source of perplexity, distress or vexation.” It causes a feeling of not liking or not wanting to do something. A problem is something that many people try to deny exists and just wish would go away.
A challenge, on the other hand, is something one rises to; something one faces and overcomes with courage, tenacity, strength and persistence. A challenge is stimulating, not paralyzing like a “problem.”
Reactive vs. Proactive
It is so easy to react to circumstances. In the reactive mode where we perceive “problems” instead of “challenges” it’s very easy to blame others or ourselves for causing the “problem.” When we see a situation as someone else’s fault we can distance ourselves from it and hope that it will “go away.” We see the devastating effects of reactive behavior all the time.
We must train ourselves to be proactive instead of reactive. When we are proactive we learn to see the big picture and make decisions based on the most positive ideas we hold in mind. We must see the outcome we desire in our own minds. If you can truly imagine and see the antagonism between co-workers turned into joyful cooperation and collaboration it will happen.
In any organization be it the workplace or volunteer supported, the family and even social settings, the difference in perceiving events as problems or challenges can be the determining factor between success and failure.
When you are establishing a non-profit organization and are counting on volunteers to help you reach your goal, it can be very challenging to keep the positive attitude flowing. However, when you can keep your sights on the positive outcomes, you can lead your organization to the fulfillment of your goal.
To lead your non-profit to success you must remain positive and open to suggestions, yet be firm in knowing which suggestions will nurture in the direction you want to go or will send it off in a completely different direction. If you’re in the midst of deciding whether or not to start a non-profit and could use some guidance and insight, give my office a call.