Bobby Knight defines negative thinking as “recognizing, addressing, and removing obstacles to winning” and goes on to say that victory tends to go to “the team making the fewest mistakes.” Obviously there is some merit in his “mistake-avoidance strategy,” because in 43 years of coaching basketball, Knight won a total of 902 games and coached Indiana University’s “Hoosiers” to 11 Big Ten titles and three NCAA titles, as well as coaching the 1984 U. S. Olympic Team a gold medal (okay, he had Michael Jordan but still….).
Knight lists the ten commandments of leadership, the third of which is “Always Worry,” and “If you can’t think of a thing to be worried about, worry about being overconfident.”
As an entrepreneur I attribute much of my success to carefully and tirelessly assessing the down side, defining the worst possible case scenario and then making sure I could handle it before I went forward. You could call that a form of negative thinking. I call it being a realistic optimist.
“Having the will to win is not enough. Everyone has that. What matters is having the will to prepare to win.” — Bobby Knight; 1940–