A lot of positive psychology trumpets the importance of being selective about where you give your attention. That’s why gratitude practices, are such powerful things. Evolutionarily, are brains are programmed to identify problems and spot dangers – basically, we’re wired for negativity. That made sense when we could be eaten by lions, but is a bit out of proportion when dealing with a challenging client of an annoying co-worker.
It’s a big world out there with near infinite things to focus on – at the same time as we have a limited amount of time, energy, and enthusiasm. If you have a choice, why wouldn’t you focus on the good? Not only will it make you happier but it leads to positive results.
Look where you want to go.
Of course, the classic example of this is when you skid on ice, you look where you want to go, i.e. the road not at the tree you want to avoid. If you are a Nascar driver you focus on the open field and not the wall.