Use a mirror not a magnifying glass

Today I have the pleasure of another fantastic post by Rachel Willis. As you read this, don’t sit there and think you’re an angel that never acts like this – I’m sure if we are all honest, we’re all guilty of it. I’ve been working a lot this year on positive, or in Gitomers language, (YES!) attitude because I understand, just how much a bit of negativity can spread – especially if you work in an office with lots of people. Just think how different the atmosphere at work is when everyone is upbeat compared to those days when everyone has a ‘screw face’. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m working on it and know that if everyone is positive then it’s conducive to a far better working atmosphere – leading to more efficient teams and workflow. A large part of this attitude is about how you relate to other people – enjoy Rachel’s post and more importantly – ACT on it today!


How often do we find ourselves wound up by a colleague, partner, family member, friend or even stranger? And how often do we rant, rave and blame that person for what they said or did? Going over and over it in our heads or with an unfortunate friend, building a watertight case for the prosecution?

In these situations, we could most likely list – in minute detail – all the things that are considered wrong with what they said or did, and we lay the blame firmly at their door.

We have looked at them with a magnifying glass and found every conceivable speck of dirt.

However, rather than viewing these situations as a bothersome conflict in your life, we can instead see them as a valuable learning exercise.

The next time you find yourself getting annoyed with someone, why not use a mirror rather than a magnifying glass, and see exactly what it is about what this person said or did that irritates you?

We often like to blame others rather than see the less-than-perfect parts of ourselves. It is easier that way. But by avoiding looking in the mirror, we miss the opportunity to evolve and uncover our hidden desires in life.

It may be that your boss asks you to get a report finished ahead of an already tight schedule. The magnifying glass shows them as demanding, unfair and selfish. However, the mirror shows us that we don’t like being told what to do and part of us yearns to be our own boss and not have to take orders.

Or it may be that you find yourself irately watching TV when your spouse returns home late from a night out with colleagues after work. The magnifying glass shows a thoughtless, disrespectful and insensitive partner. The mirror shows us that we don’t like sitting at home alone and would actually value a wider circle of friends to socialise and have fun with.

Therefore, conflict shines light on important areas and unmet needs that will only disappear when addressed directly.

So next time you find yourself about to launch an attack on someone – whether silently or out loud – consider which of your buttons they are pressing, be grateful to them for highlighting these unmet needs, and instead take a step towards fulfilling them.

Rachel Willis


  1. Nick Watson on 4th December 2009 at 11:37 am

    I have a great book that deals with these sort of issues, “Water off a Duck’s back” – it’s a brilliant read.

    • Banksy on 5th December 2009 at 1:04 pm

      I hear this book is excellent Nick – what kind person bought you that 🙂

Leave a Comment