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There is a seed of something positive in every negative situation


Written by John Dabrowski

The name Art Fry may be unknown to you, but his invention has impacted the entire world with a product that is so well known, you will recognise it instantly. His company gave him space to think and be creative – because of this he developed something which has proven to be an essential product for many people across the world.

The 3M Company encourages creativity from its employees. The company allows its researchers to spend 15 percent of their time on any project that interests them. This attitude has brought fantastic benefits not only to the employees but to the 3M Company itself. Many times, a spark of an idea turned into a successful product has boosted 3M’s profits tremendously.

He had a problem and wanted a solution

Some years ago, a scientist in 3M’s commercial office took advantage of this 15 percent creative time. This scientist, Art Fry, came up with an idea for one of 3M’s best-selling products. It seems that Art Fry dealt with a small irritation every Sunday as he sang in the church choir. After marking his pages in the hymnal with small bits of paper, the small pieces would invariably fall out all over the floor.

Suddenly, an idea struck Fry. He remembered an adhesive developed by a colleague that everyone thought was a failure because it did not stick very well. “I coated the adhesive on a paper sample,” Fry recalls, “and I found that it was not only a good bookmark, but it was great for writing notes. It will stay in place as long as you want it to, and then you can remove it without damage.”

Yes, Art Fry hit the jackpot. The resulting product was called Post-it! and has become one of 3M’s most successful office products.

Always look for the positive

This suggests that ‘out of every failure there is a seed of an equal or greater benefit.’ This is something I teach in my Masterclasses where I encourage the delegates to always find the seed of something positive in everything negative. No matter what negative situation you find yourself in, I truly believe that there is always the seed of something positive hidden within it.

What you focus on is how you feel. If you focus on the negative things in your world you will feel negative but if you focus on the positive things you will feel more positive. When you are faced with something negative always look for something positive in that situation. It may be something you can learn, or something which makes you stronger, or something which grows your comfort zone.

Some thoughts to consider:

– How do you respond to something negative in your world?

– Do you spend too much time dwelling on the negative?

– The next time you come across something negative, look for a seed of something positive within it.

– We are constantly learning and if we can learn from every challenge we come across this will help us grow faster.

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