There was a magnificent rainbow out my kitchen window recently. It was one of those breathtaking ones where you could see the entire thing from beginning to end. We’d been hit with torrents in Los Angeles; and, this hopeful vista was an organic reminder that there is an end to the storm; it represents a gateway to things better and brighter.
It got me thinking about how “Rainbow Thinking” in terms of career, and life for that matter, might go along way toward keeping us focused on what matters.
I bloody love metaphors and rainbows are the mother lode. Stop and think about it for a moment. What do rainbows mean to you? Some may say it’s just a sign the rain has stopped. Well, even that simple statement is full of metaphor if you’ll let yourself go there. Other rainbow meanings that come to mind:
- it’s a sign of hope and new beginnings
- it signifies diversification and acceptance as in “rainbow coalition”
- it exemplifies a wide spectrum of choices, not to mention colors
- and it’s the pot ‘o gold at the end of…
The infamous lyrics to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from Wizard of Oz are filled with optimism and dreaming of better things to come, “if happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow why, oh why, can’t I?”
Weathering the storm has practically become a way of life for many people and companies since the economy tanked. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “We’re (or I’m) weathering the storm until things improve,” I’d be able to fill that pot at the end of the rainbow.
Some believe that searching for the pot ‘o gold at the end of the rainbow is a futile journey only set up for failure, that it's an impossible feat. But, I disagree.
Here’s some "Rainbow Thinking" to apply to your life & business:
- Define your ‘end of the rainbow’ – set a goal that’s lofty and makes you stretch, and then build your brand and your plan so your sights are set on that goal.
- Dare to dream – give yourself permission to dream huge. Practice active visualization, seeing yourself living your dream. Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Same goes for the end of the rainbow.
- Be diversified in your thinking – aim to live outside the box, or the norm, so that new and different solutions become a habit.
- Look for ways to color your life – allow yourself to open your eyes to the world and people around you. Notice nature more. Make eye contact and smile more.
- Be courageous – be bold and fearless in your convictions. A great way to do this is to focus on the dream and goal rather than on the fear that’s keeping you where you are.
- Stay positive – not trying to be Pollyannaish here. Truly, a positive mindset manifests many things, including being able to actually SEE the rainbow when it appears to you.
So, do what you can to adopt Rainbow Thinking as you move your career, your brand, & your life forward. And know that a rainbow always appears somewhere after the rain.