Turn the table on negative forces in your life by inventively transforming them to positive resources
Transform the negative forces around you in a difficult situation to positive resources and inventively achieve what all thought to be impossible otherwise. Adapt in your own way the concrete steps elaborated to do this.
Especially in unusual non-routine situations in real life or in a project there will often be negative elements that may actively affect the outcome or may remain neutrally inert. Potentially any negative element may start impacting the outcome adversely even if it were inert to start with.
Inventive principle of reversing a negative element to a positive resource
If a negative element present is analyzed for reversing its effect to positive finding an easy less costly method to reverse its effect, it would turn into a positive resource helping to reach a much better solution.
Sometimes, an element commonly perceived as negative by most people, may be used as a reversed positive resource.
Debt as a financial instrument
Debt is commonly perceived as negative, something generally looked down upon. But in modern finance, debt has gradually been transformed to become a must-have part of any business as well as any personal life in some countries.
Credit cards create personal debt and is used in most of the advanced nations as a part of life to enhance the living style, whereas businesses to grow must ultimately take loans from financial institutions and finally more affluent nations forward loans to less endowed nations towards development and creating national debt.
When the debtor goes into debt for creating new activities with the potential for earning substantially more than the interest on debt, it is used inventively.
That way, in most situations debt may have positive impact, though perceived in not so far back as a thing that should be avoided.
In today's world, finance geniuses have turned debt into a extremely potent inventive instrument for furthering business interests of the creditor giving the debt.
A successful business uses debt as a positive resource for achieving much more than the cost of debt.
Alert: Debt is not an inert negative element, it is highly reactive, and if not controlled can surely turn into a destroyer.
A person known to comment critically and transparently
You must be able to recall such a person whom you know. The critique will never sweeten his words to soften the blows, if any, or he will never dilute a praise for something that it deserves.
Interesting part is, you will notice that such a person is generally avoided—none really wants to hear the unvarnished naked truth.
Essentially the person or just this penchant of his for speaking his mind is considered a negative element.
But if you are starting a new venture to produce some item for personal satisfaction as a passion, pastime or business, the critical friend as the first beta tester can be used so very well for knowing the quality of your product.
Critical assessment is one of the main elements in selling all types of goods online.
Specific example is a purchase that you would make in the online marketplace today. Won't you carefully go through the reviews, critical or praising?
A neutrally transparent critic can have a great value as a kind of touchstone or assaying (evaluation)instrument.
If you look around now with awareness, you would surely discover many such entities.
Thomas Alva Edison is generally considered as the greatest innovator of all times. He achieved possibly a thousand odd innovations but had a great number of failed attempts as well. When someone tried to pull his leg saying something like, "How can we consider your works as successes. You have failed thousands of times." Edison's reply would be quoted for long time to come, "I have learned how not to take thousands of wrong paths."
Most of us have experienced failures, sometimes heartbreaking and crushing, occasionally not creating much of a pain. Failures are part of life, human or otherwise.
Because of the fear of the adverse potential experiences of failure, it is disliked and classified by all as a negative element.
But the truth in all cases is, with the right frame of mind, every failure is an invaluable source of learning and opportunity. A failure has the capacity of bringing a great positive change to the life of the failed. If you are that one, you have used your failure as a powerful innovative resource to change your life, no less.
We all know the commonly used adage,
Failure is a pillar of success.
Unless you fail you won't learn and grow up.
Toddlers while starting to walk fall often and from each fall learn how to walk properly.
Heart breaks at young age happens to most though every time the heartbroken believes to be the only one who have so suffered.
With right elements, the heartbroken grow up learning the hard way how to choose right, if not get the true love.
In all areas and walks of life, there are different types of failures and in all such cases a failure acts as a negative resource.
Though it cannot be denied that occasionally, a failure can ultimately cause the death of the failed, an individual or an organization, rarely the failed reach that stage. That's why we say, as long as you have breath, you have a chance.
Those with right frame of mind can turn a failure to a greatly positive resource almost always.
The word 'resource' has a hint of being a positive one. We are not using the word that way. We are using 'resource' as an element being used or experienced.
Soon as we try to get a closer look at the word 'resource', new possibilities open up,
- If an element is kept idle, its value remains static or diminishes and negativity increases if the element were negative.
- If money is kept in the bank it is only potential wealth unused. The more money is used the more valuable it becomes.
- An actively negative element if kept idle, unused, unattended, uncontrolled, it tends to grow in its negativity.
With this abstraction and generalization, even illnesses can be classified as negative elements and hence potentially positive resources.
Naturally the question comes up, how can an illness become a positive resource?
Trying to answer this very relevant question, let's dive deeper.
When ill, the first thing that you do is to cure the illness by consulting a doctor and taking medicines. Not always you move one step more and ask yourself,
What if the illness recurs? Has it been cured permanently?
Then the more revealing question,
Why did the illness happen in the first place? What are the causes for the illness? And finally at this point the illness waits patiently to be turned into a positive resource.
This happens when going still deeper you ask,
How can we change or remove the causes of the illness completely? Would it be possible to gain a much better health by following a suitable procedure and Lifestyle change?
At this point the possibility of negativity of illness transforming to a positive resource comes alive.
Lifestyle change is never easy. It is always hard. That way everything that we want to become, or want to do is always hard.
But again, almost all are achievable, by the right approach, patience, learning ability and will.
Asking the next questions and seeking answers
This is the most crucial stage for any sea change that includes innovation, the truly glorified result.
Looking at life, in a way,
Life is a series of questions, analysis, answer and consequent actions.
So is systematic problem solving.
In the whole universe nothing is static. All change, even if not perceived by our limited human mind.
Knowing this and having that thing called curiosity, questioning is taken up again from where the last answer we obtained (by whatever means - by myself, asking Google or asking a known expert).
The next inevitable question is,
How can I bring in the changes not only to remove the causes but also to reach a state much better than the previous one? What actions can I take?
This is a very important point in the whole process.
When thinking of possible answers and actions, think of all possibilities. Do not limit to what you can do. Be imaginative, be exhaustive, be thorough.
Though each stage of question analysis and answer with possible actions is important, this stage of getting possible answers and actions is crucial for radical changes and systematic innovation.
Even if an answer and consequent actions seem to be beyond your reach, do not ignore them at this stage.
Ask yourself a few times, "Can I take this action? Can I do this?
This question you have to ask for each action.
At this stage the whole problem has been broken up steadily into smaller and smaller fragments of actions.
These are specific actions. When an action is a bit vague, with a little effort it can be specified in more details.
This is action specification just like problem definition and specification. Listing out details of each action goes a long way to deciding whether,
- It is a promising action to be considered further, and,
- Whether it can at all be done.
For a difficult problem, actions that would solve the problem will generally be difficult to take.
Apart from your own mental blocks and lack of what you need to take an action, there will always be negative human forces working to dissuade you in taking the necessary action.
A simple example
The 24 year old girl from a good family just had lost her father who left only the house and nothing else to her and her sick mother . The girl somehow finished the last rites of her departed father after 4 months of grueling struggle to bring him back home. That was 25th February.
Next day she called sobbing uncontrollably, barely intelligible, "All my relatives are telling me I will fail in the exam. My Part II final graduate honours exam starts on 3rd April."
She called the only person she could call and even he thought it a tough task.
But what is any difficulty? Is it an impossibility? Why can't she go ahead with thinking of NOT SUCCESS or FAILURE, but with the knowledge that there is just the job is to be done in the best way possible.
In fact that's the crux of all difficult actions,
Facing any difficult task you have to start by taking the first step and then the next one more, never once thinking of success or failure.
You have to,
Give your all without undermining your health.
Interesting outcomes of intensive immersive work
By intensive work in which you are totally immersed, your immunity increases, health improves, shines forth.
In fact contrary to common belief, persons who have recently come out of serious heart attacks due to artery blocks if work hard without over exertion following regular restrictions, it is a certainly that the parts of the heart thought to be dead but actually dormant will revive.
Steps to achieve positive results that was thought to be impossible
Just transforming a negative force to a positive one will never be enough. Hard, very hard and intelligent organized work is needed to really achieve what is thought to be impossible,
- Work hard immersively, intelligently, with common sense planning and organization, not blindly.
- Not constantly weighed down by the anxiety whether the time is running out.
- Without thinking about success or failure that waits for you at the end.
- Think only of working this way to achieve results each day that you can measure.
- Keep nothing vague. Always measure results of your work. It is like saving a little money every day in your personal money box.
- Work in small steps, incremental steps.
Most important of all the above is,
To work without thinking of success or failure at the end and giving it your best.
You'll always be directly advised by none other than Lord Krishna.
The job is yours to do and not the results of success or failure to have.
The young distraught girl was ecstatic when her exam results were published, she had done even better than earlier exams.
It is a certainty that the negative force of the utterly demoralizing comments of her relatives were transformed in her mind to a great positive force pushing her forward against all odds to achieve what everyone thought impossible, and what she didn't achieve earlier under normal circumstances.
In this process she did in fact change her normal way of exam preparation, continuously taking measures to increase her throughput, her energy so on and so forth. Together a very positive result of using a negative force inventively as a strong positive force.
This is only one of the many real life examples of transforming a negative force to a positive force.
There are many more like her. Even you would know someone who had done what others thought impossible.
The truth is,
If you really wish for something you like, you would get it even if everyone around you think otherwise.
Innovation is always a key element to do what is thought impossible
It is a general belief that innovation is something that is done by really gifted great achievers and it needs lots of resources, funds, people, supporting environment and all that.
This is one of the greatest fundamentally erroneous common belief.
When doing a difficult job that is taking a lot of time and effort from you, if you find the way to do the same work without compromising quality and without any extra cost taking significantly less time, that is a great innovation done by you. It is your personal innovation.
Even if you haven't recognized the change in method to work more in less time as an innovation, that is real meaningful innovation only for you.
And potentially the apparent insignificant change in method becomes an innovation for all those in similar position as you.
In essence, innovation is a new way of thinking and taking action attaining positive results without extra cost.
It is an absolutely essential part of doing a very difficult job.
Innovation to be feasible it has to be INCREMENTAL, in small positive steps
This is firmly driven home in an article by a Senior expert in Google a few years ago. Gist of what he wrote is somewhat like this,
It is commonly thought what is achieved by us at the end of the years of efforts, was the target at the beginning. It is not the case. We do keep an objective and mission statement in front alright but we do small incremental innovation in steps. It all finally adds up bit by bit after some length of time and becomes the equivalent of a great innovation.
Google does innovation in their own area of work. Every organization do it. And we common folks work in our own personal lives to get over our difficulties and negatives.
In abstraction, a new and better way to tackle a difficult task in your personal life is a genuine innovation.
How can I work innovatively
Now when at last innovation has come into the picture as an essential element in doing a difficult job in your personal life, the question naturally comes up,
How can I do innovation?
There are many ways to approach the problem of achieving more with less which is innovation.
If you have time, go through the article, 40 inventive principles of TRIZ.
This is by far the most valuable collection of broad abstract principles that were believed by the creator of it as all the principles based on which every innovation was made and will be made.
40 principles are extremely valuable.
Use the concepts effectively to change your thinking and solve your problems inventively,
- Give time to them,
- Ponder over each trying to understand what it means,
- Examine things and ideas around you to discover whether the core concept of the inventive principle applies to the thing or idea you have examined.
- Try to map any of the principles to your past actions to learn whether unknowingly you have actually done innovation
- Finally try to apply any of the inventive principles to your present problem that is appropriate.
But then we started with something else, isn't it?
Our whole discussion started with saying that transforming a negative element in your problem to a positive resource will help you in big way to reach where you couldn't have reached otherwise.
Yes, there is nothing in this world that is unchanging. Of course if you can finally use your severe illness to change your lifestyle thereby achieving a strong health by taking actions to achieve this goal pushed forward all the time by your severely painful memories of the past illness, you have indeed transformed the negative element of illness to a positive resource inventively.
It is really all in your mind. If you wish and put your will to it, you can surely turn the table on negative elements to achieve results thought to be impossible.
You can surely do it. Just decide finally that you will do it and take the first small step forward.
If you never start, you would never reach anywhere.
Art at the top created by a creative artist unknown to us.
But the innovative element of turning the relative ignominy of standing on the 3rd place podium to a really totally positive status cannot but earn our high appreciation.