Rocks Versus Diamonds

This week I’m going to write about the same things I did last week, because both topics (jobs and professional development) are hot topics in society today. Professional development comes in many forms: webinars, written word, seminars, focus groups, and many more. In fact, I have a professional development lunch meeting today (rumor has it there’s a pizza buffet – note to self: find more professional development opportunities that are hosted at great local restaurants!), followed by an online webinar… the opportunities are endless when it comes to improving oneself in the workplace. A nifty side perk is that many of the things we learn professionally will carry over to our personal lives in a positive fashion.

I received an article written by Lou Tice this week, titled “Rocks or Diamonds?”, and I think you might enjoy the learning opportunity this article presents.


Given a choice, would you rather carry a bag of rocks or a sack of diamonds? Well, we do have a choice and you will be surprised how many people choose rocks.

Abraham Lincoln once said that if you "look for what’s wrong, you will surely find it."  How true this is. The imperfections in ourselves mean we can always find deficits if we try. For a lot of us, it’s much easier to find cracks and faults.

If your focus is on what is wrong, if you are busy looking for the flaws and weaknesses in your character, you are weighing yourself down just as surely as if you were going though life carrying a bag of rocks – and every day the bag gets heavier.

Of course, if you are a world-class negative thinker, then the weight of your burden becomes just one more thing with which to find fault. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time looking for and appreciating all that is right or delightful about yourself and the world around you – and make no mistake, there are thousands of delights in this world once you start looking for them – it is as if you had a sack of diamonds in your pocket.

To get a quick reading on where your focus is, list all your shortcomings and all your strengths on a piece of paper. Once you have finished both lists, look to see if you used a double standard. Did you list as weaknesses those things that are occasionally true about you? On the other hand, did you list strengths that are almost always true? If so, you are stacking the cards against yourself.

If you get rid of your old programming that says it is better to carry rocks than diamonds, and start affirming your strengths instead, your life will be so much richer! And what better day to start than today.

The Pacific Institute, Inc.

Take a few minutes to write your list of shortcomings and strengths. How do you see yourself? Have you stacked the cards against yourself? Maybe your list depends on your mood, your workload, or maybe the freezing cold dreary weather outside. For today, set all the negatives aside and focus on your “diamonds”, your strengths, and see how your mood changes. Does your mood have a positive influence on others, and does it encourage them to carry around diamonds as well? There’s beauty in switching your own rocks out for diamonds, and before you know it, your change in focus might just be able to help others around you!

If you’d like to read more of Lou Tice’s posts, follow this link:

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