Thursday, February 17, 2005

Faith and Business

Running a business based on faith may sound on the surface to be an irresponsible idea. Ironically, faith is one of the most powerful factors that can influence an entrepreneur's ability to work well. Faith promotes optimism, a well-studied factor of business success.

From The Mount Vernon Review from Morrissey & Company:

Optimists and pessimists operate very differently, and business success is a direct result of individual actions. Optimists take more risks and try more new things – they cheerfully deal with problems head on, rather than withdrawing in presumed defeat. They view failure as something changeable, something that can be overcome. Pessimists blame themselves for failure, attributing it to some permanent characteristic. Because of this, optimists are more successful in negotiating our world of constant change.

In more than 30 years of research on the topic, Dr. Martin Seligman, a noted psychologist, revealed that optimists:


  • Set higher objectives and have a stronger commitment to their goals.

  • Are resilient – they have the staying power for long-term success.

  • Demonstrate persistence – they believe challenges can be overcome.

  • Are flexible, enabling them to effectively manage new circumstances.

  • Recover quickly from rejection and setbacks.

  • Focus on how it can be accomplished, rather than why it can’t be done.

  • Are more secure with themselves.

  • View success as permanent – each success motivates an optimist to achieve higher ideals.

  • Believe they influence and control their results, motivating them to try harder.

  • Are capable of managing their motivation during difficult times.

  • Consistently produce more than pessimists, particularly in challenging situations.

  • Are healthier, physically, so take less sick-time from work.

  • Are less likely to quit their jobs.

Next time you find yourself facing a challenge in the workplace, try turning your focus on what isn't working to the spiritual side of having faith that everything will work. You may be surprised by how the challenge seems easier to manage effectively with this focus on faith.

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