You Gotta Use What You Got

In life and on stage you can ahead by using (or utilising) all the resources you have available to you.  By doing this, you can

  • Have more resources to achieve your goals; as well as,
  • Turn a negative into a positive

A few examples to illustrate my point.

1. I remember playing indoor volleyball in the Philippines with a crowd that was strongly cheering for their own team against us.  Now, I could have thought of this as a negative and felt like I was up against more than just the 6 opposing players OR I can use my imagination.

I chose to imagine that all the cheers and support were for me.  How much more energising is that?

I was reminded of this crowd cheering occasion watching the boxing movie with Russell Crowe the other night.  At the very end of the movie the defending champion, Max Baer, enters the stadium and the look on his face shows that he is aware that the crowd is against him.  The type of character he was, it didn’t faze Baer – it only fuelled his desire to beat the underdog James Braddock. This movie had some great examples of utilisation that help to demonstrate how you can use anything that happens and turn it into a positive.

Cinderella Man
Cinderella Man

The movie is about boxing, and a good fighter knows how to use both the weaknesses and strengths of the opposition.

Work to the weaknesses, stay away from the strengths – isn’t that what they say?

2. What I love in the final fight is how Braddock (Crowe) uses Baer’s big (deadly) weapon and turns it against him.  I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, if you have yet to watch it but it serves to make the point that there is an opportunity in everything!  You have to look for it, and even study it closely (as Braddock did earlier in the movie).

Sometimes you don’t have time to prepare and you want to be able to go with the flow, or roll with the punches.

This is really important when you are presenting on a stage, or in a meeting – you will want to have some flexibility to adapt when things don’t quite go as planned.

Rather than thinking how it’s gone wrong – think about how you can USE the situation and turn it into a positive.

3. A phone rings (even though you asked everyone to put their phone on silent) – so you use it and suggest that someone is really keen to hear this information, they are calling now about it.  Or, I will usually find some way to relate that incident to what I’m talking about in the moment.

4. I have done hypnotic visualisations with an audience, where ideally there is silence – and we heard applause through the walls coming from another room – I just included it in my visualisation

“….and hear the applause for you now celebrating your achievement..”  or something in that vein.

Get the idea?

5. There was one more terrific example of utilisation in Cinderella Man that demonstrates turning a negative into a positive.  Pre-fight Baer is insulting Braddock’s wife and when he ‘crosses the line’ she responds by throwing water in his face.  Baer counters with the line “.. you’ve got your wife fighting for you now!”

Braddock pauses and says “yeah, ain’t she something!” .

I absolutely love this – agree with the statement and make it mean something positive for yourself.

So be on the lookout for situations in your life and during presentations and see how you can turn what you thought could be a negative, and see it for the positive it is.

Nothing is right or wrong, negative or positive – it is only what you say it is.  Take charge of the situations and turn your lemons into margaritas.  You might even find yourself having fun.

Tell us how you have ‘used’ situations in your life to an advantage.

You are brilliant, dare to shine!