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Chapter 6. Travel Thinking Continued . .... > Opportunity or Obstacle Thinking: An...

Opportunity or Obstacle Thinking: An Example

Two types of thought patterns that a person could adopt are what might be called opportunity thinking and obstacle thinking. Opportunity thinking involves a pattern of thoughts that focus on the opportunities and possibilities that situations or challenges hold. Creative, innovative individuals who contribute to the major breakthroughs and advances in our world most likely possess this sort of pattern of thinking. Their beliefs, their imagined future experiences, and their self-talk probably spur them on to undertake new opportunities. Obstacle thinking, on the other hand, involves a focus on the roadblocks and pitfalls of undertaking new ventures. Such a mental pattern fosters avoidance of challenges in favor of more secure actions, often with substantially lesser potential payoffs.

Skiwear mogul Klaus Obermeyer is a classic example of an opportunity thinker. Obermeyer is founder of Obermeyer Ski Apparel, a company that earned more than $30 million in 1995 despite the fact that Obermeyer went skiing every day of the ski season. He says the origin of his company began by seeing an opportunity:[1]


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