Have you ever found yourself stuck in a conversation where the other person has nothing but “backward focused” things to say? Like a garbage collector they sift through the trash of the past, as if by turning it over they might find some hope.


Of course, the only hope you’re thinking about is “there must be some way out of this conversation.”



The average person, when in such a predicament, follows their focus (it’s what our minds naturally do). And as a result, they quickly become a thought-garbage collector themselves. Now it’s not a solo “where one person is singing the ‘what’s wrong with the world” song, it becomes a choir, as an entire group of people are doing nothing but complaining.


When I find myself living such an average life, I laugh at myself on the drive home. How dare I complain about how much I have to do, and how &%$#* my life is, when the truth is this: it was only I who didn’t have the discipline to control my focus.



A man named Bob recently said, “When we find the conversation becoming negative there is something we can do.” We can stop the garbage collecting by simply asking them, “What’s important?” or “What do you want?” And then, after that, we can ask them, “Why?”


I know Bob and he’s not your average leader. He has delivered stellar results for his company for nearly 35 years. He said, “If we can get them focused forward, on what’s important and what they want, we can then begin to identify what they can do about it and how they can move forward. That’s the only way we’ll ever deliver solutions.”


Simple questions that help people out of the garbage: What do you want? What’s important to you? Why?


Know anybody that could use a lifeline?


What is the difference between what might be and what can be? You decide.

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