Many of us focus on positive events only briefly, while letting the negative events take control of our thinking and emotions entirely too long; the lows are emotionally lower than the highs are high. However, once the lesson is learned and steps are put in place to avoid the same thing happening in the future, we must move on and shift focus towards the brightest possible future.
Here are some things that happen when negativity lingers: blaming others, deterioration of relationships, damage to organizational culture and motivation, no forward progress, etc. None of these outcomes are productive, especially when considering they are caused by something that happened in the past. The past contains our decisions which have already been made and the outcomes experienced. Blaming others, letting relationships be damaged, etc. is all counter-productive and rarely changes the outcome. The best way to put the past behind us is to make a new future and focus on doing it quickly.
There is an inherent lesson in every failure: something we should not have done; something we should have done; someone we should have hired; someone we have neglected; an opportunity that was missed because we were not proactive; an unsuccessful strategy that was followed too long; etc. No one wants to make the same mistakes over and over, and those that are on our teams expect us (just as we expect them) to learn and grow from each experience. We must take the time to learn the lesson, but take only that time, and then move on to the next win.
By choice and through positive thinking, negative events can create positive outcomes. Conversely, we can let them linger and create additional negativity. Choose right – learn the lesson, fix the root problem, and move on as quickly as possible. The team expects it.