What is one of the most powerful tools for transforming your outcome?

The answer might surprise you. It isn’t swift and thoughtless action to try to change your external circumstances, and it isn’t throwing things at the wall to see what sticks – in fact it’s much simpler and much quieter than that. The secret weapon for success starts with you.

When faced with new challenges, difficult clients, or unexpected roadblocks, one of the most influential catalysts for change is oftentimes the most overlooked. It is the power of perspective. I’ll never forget the first time I realized that my perception of a situation greatly influences how it will unfold. It was a liberating and enlightening realization because it meant I had the ability to influence the outcomes of the challenges I faced, just by shifting my perspective of the situation.

My first discovery of this lesson took place at a young age, back when I was just 21 years old. Up until this realization, I had a vision for what a remarkable future would look like, and it was all centered around three simple goals: graduate school, accumulate wealth as rapidly as possible, and retire at the earliest opportunity. As overly simple as that might sound now, these goals served as my driving force, propelling me to actively seek employment opportunities promising quick financial advancement, so that I could retire by age 35.

Although I admittedly had tunnel vision toward these goals for quite some time, and was willing to endure the hard work it took to get there, everything changed the moment I had the privilege of meeting Truett Cathy, the founder and former CEO of Chick-fil-A, who took me under his wing and guided me in my career at the company. Prior meeting him, I had never met someone who viewed work as a source of contentment, joy, satisfaction, and reward. The idea of finding a job so fulfilling that I would never want to retire from it, had never occurred to me. Truett would always say, If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”

This perspective stopped me in my tracks and was certainly more meaningful than the goal of retiring at a young age. You see, I had previously learned to regard work as something to simply evade, endure, and ultimately retire from. However, this simple shift in perspective proved to be a game-changer, and altered the path of my life forever.

This definition of perspective sums it up well: the way we view things, drives the way we do things. In other words, our perspective greatly influences our response to various situations. If we perceive our jobs as sources of satisfaction, contentment, and enjoyment, our reactions will significantly differ from those who view their jobs as something to avoid, endure or escape from as quickly as possible.

Perspective is the only thing in the world that has the power to radically transform our outcome without making any changes to our environment.

In business, many entrepreneurs I’ve encountered embark on their business ventures with the goal of a “get-rich scheme.” They want to start a business and immediately get rich, sometimes without considering the well-being of others like customers, employees, or the community. This is the path I, as a 21-year-old, was enticed by, so I can understand the appeal in the short-term gratification.

However, I’d like to present an alternative, 180-degree shift in perspective: business as a “be-rich scheme.” The notion of business as a “be-rich scheme” involves utilizing the business platform as an opportunity to enrich the lives of those involved, rather than exploit them for personal gain. 

Seeing business as a “be-rich scheme” was a profound revelation for me, and I believe it’s what fueled Truett as well. It means your work has a more significant purpose beyond personal satisfaction. When things get difficult and we want to throw in the towel, or our backs are up against the wall and we are faced with tough leadership decisions, a shift in perspective can go a long way. This leads me to consider: in how many other aspects of our lives can we engage with a broader perspective? One where everything we do not only benefits ourselves but also makes the people around us better?

As you embark on this reflective journey, remember that you have the ability to influence the outcomes of the challenges you face, all through the way you perceive it. Your work environment could actually be a source of contentment, joy, satisfaction, and reward if you take the time to change how you see it.

I’d love to connect with you on social media, you can find me on these platforms:

Together, we can Spark a Revolution of brands more defined by meaning than money, brands that achieve success in a manner that redefines it.

David Salyers
Founder, Spark A Revolution

Recent Resources

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I have always been drawn to startups, even as a young child. In fact, I'm involved in three for-profit startups currently, and almost every nonprofit I am a part of, I joined in their startup phase whether that’s Eagle Ranch, Davar Partners International, Northpoint Church, or ReThink and Orange Conference. But the question is, why am I drawn to them? We’ll get back to that.