spotlight on black dot

Is your spotlight on the Black Dots?

Is your spotlight on the Black Dots? In the picture shown here below, what does grab your attention?

The black dot

Of course all of you must be answering a black dot. Your spotlight is right there on the black dot.

The black dots

I gave an exactly same answer in one of the Positive thinking workshop during my early days of career. The trainer gave a paper to all the participants with a small black circle in the middle of the page. He then asked all of us what did we see. My answer was, “a black dot,” perhaps due little bit of disdain; because the dot spoiled an otherwise perfectly good piece of paper. In fact all other participants answered the same. They all answered the black dot explaining its position in the center of the sheet of paper. No one answered about the white part of the paper.

When presented with a blank paper with no other fragment but a dot, most of us would put our spotlight right on the dot, even if it is at any other position or corner of the paper. Why does it happen? Because that black dot is noticeable to us in the otherwise spotless surface.

Identifying Problems

While such an outlook is helpful for pinpointing gaps/issues and solving them, it can create an unhealthy attitude and one can become very problem centrist. So rather than consider the things that are going right and well in one’s life, one can have a tunnel vision focusing on the things that aren’t going right and well. Or, rather than focus on the plethora of benefits of something, one can be obsessed with issues that don’t even have any significance in the long term.

Is your spotlight on black dots ?

Some Examples for testing your Attitude

Let’s see some example to check such kind of attitude. Whenever below mentioned feelings or statements appear in life, it shows that spotlight is on black spots.

  • Our round trip to Chandigarh, Manali, Rohtang Pass, Kaza, Kalpa, Narkanda and Chandigarh would have been fabulous; if we would not have to spend 14 hours in train to reach Chandigarh. Lack of sleep, poor pantry food, and noisy co-passengers. There was no fun at all.
  • My husband cooked dinner tonight since I had a long day at work, but it was only Maggi noodles – I mean, how hard is cooking Maggi, it takes only two minutes?
  • I have bought a new sedan car replacing my 10 years old hatchback, It’s wonderful feeling but the sedan make it difficult for me to drive on roads having traffic.
  • I have a great job; organization has good policies and culture. My job pays really well and organization fast tracks their employee into higher positions, but working in cubical with listening to sad FM radio all afternoon is too much.
  • I deal with many customers and many of them are nice people, but every once in a while I have jerks who mess things up and make life difficult for me.
  • Your colleague wishes you “Good Morning” and you ask, “What’s good about this morning?”
  • I want to quit my job and start my own business, it will give me opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, be my own boss, no routine 9 to 5 job, but it will have financial uncertainty.

Shift your focus and be positive

An average person’s tendency is to focus on “imperfections” and “issues” when everything else can be perfect and going well. We have a bigger white (positive) part of paper (life) to observe and cherish, but we choose to focus on the dark spots (negative) of the paper. Our life is a gift given to us by God with love and care; and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday… However we insist on focusing only on the black dots – the health issues that bother us, career issues, the lack of money, and the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc.

Be Grateful

Identify the white (the good things) that’s around the black dot (whatever problem you are facing). Celebrate the white (the good things) rather than taking it for granted (which many of us do). The black dot is very small compared to white part of life. Take your spotlight away from the black spots in your life. Don’t magnify its presence and accept them as it is, I am not saying here to ignore them either. Just shift your focus and concentrate on the bigger brighter part of life, show gratitude for the each moment that life gives you. Be thankful for all these good things in life.

Last but not the least….celebrate the black dots (the problems) too. Negative things are as important as the positive experiences in living a great life. Negative and positive have paradoxical unity and duality. I will be sharing about duality of life in detail in future articles.

Be happy and live a life positively!

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