Coin-Puzzle-5x5

When shown the coins laid out like the illustration above, and told they could only move one coin one time and end up with five coins in each row, most people eventually give up.


I say most people will give up because it is a fact that most people, when presented with a problem, will focus on the wrong assumption. Even when they are told that it is possible to move one coin, one time, and end up five coins in each row, they assume that it is impossible, as there are only eight coins - not 9 or 10 coins - depending on their ability of perception.

The coin puzzle is a lesson on focusing on the positive and avoiding the negative. Some people see the positive in a situation, and others see the negative. It is all about the point of view.

Unfortunately, the world has become one of negativity, with the majority resigning themselves to failure rather than success. One hundred years ago, or that matter even 50 years ago, most people had no problem focusing on the positive and avoiding the negative. They only chose to see positive in everything and focus on it.

However, times change, and with the changing times, peoples perception also changes. Today, negativity and laziness have become embedded into the individual psyche. Changing anything about your life - your attitude and point of view - requires inner work and persistence. But, most will never put in the effort to create change and uproot the negativity from their life. They want instant results from their effort. And, if there is no immediate result, they give up. Being instantly rewarded for any effort has become so ingrained in their thinking that they have come to expect too much in a brief period. As in the coin puzzle, most will give up in under three minutes.

Gone are the days when people performed a task and put some thought into how to do the work faster, better or to do more. At one time, people took pride in their work - not to satisfy the requirements of the job - but to have made a difference in their existence. Now, they expect to be paid for merely showing up. It has come down to the reward of the paycheck at the end of the week. They punch the time clock, and immediately go on a break, with coffee in hand, to have discussions with their workmates, while they wait for a supervisor to tell them what to do. However, as soon as the supervisor is out of sight, they return to their break. They are not concerned with the expectations of the work, but only with the hopes of being rewarded at the end of the week.

Today, 38% of the workforce is comprised of Millennials—and this is expected to grow to 75% by 2025. However, Millennials are a fickle group in that their expectations are not based on loyalty to their function, but the rewards offered to them.

But a recent Gallup poll shows that 60% of Millennials would consider leaving their jobs if they didn’t feel engaged at work—and only half plan to be with the same company a year from now, and they are giving the entire generation a bad name for their mobility. They want to work where their values and work-life balance are more important to the company than the work. The survey reports that only 39% of Millennials feel that they learned something new on the job in the past 30 days, and fewer than one in two strongly agree they have had opportunities at work to learn and grow within the past year. Just 33% who did feel they learned something at work thought it was worth their time. And 83% stated that they left their last job to get a new role with higher pay.

Rather than focusing on the positive aspect that great work ethics offer more reward, many Millennials believe that management should provide for their needs. And they see only negative aspects if their demands are not met. By focusing on the negative, they will never reach their goals.

To accomplish any goal requires effort and belief to persevere and stay dedicated to the accomplishment of the goal. Rather than focusing on instant gratification visualize how you will feel and what you will have when you complete your goal.

If you want to make real changes in your life, you will need patience and persistence. And, you need to focus on the positive and avoiding the negative. Consider how much negativity thinking consumes your life. The more negative thoughts occupy your mind, the more negative your life becomes, and over time, negativity becomes a bad habit.

It is not so difficult to focus on the positive and avoid the negative. Be more aware of your mental state, and when you begin to have negative thoughts, push them aside and choose to do something positive. React only to constructive suggestions, which work against your negative thoughts and especially those of others.

By directing your focus and staying with your experience, you can change your brain and shape it towards a more positive, compassionate, resilient, kinder, happier, more empowered and contented way of being. You can turn positive experiences into positive brain changes, which will, in turn, change your day to day experience.

What you focus on is powerful. The brain will build on what it rests. Whether we view the world through a lens that is sad or happy, optimistic or hopeless, whether we are open to love or quick to close it down is all directed by our brain. What you pay attention to will shape your brain, which in turn will shape your experiences, your relationships, your life.

Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases. When you focus on the things you need, you’ll find those needs increasing. If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have-and feel worse! If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose. But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.

And, yes, just like the coin puzzle, achieving what you focus on is possible.

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