56. Ask yourself, what’s the flipside?
I guess another way of saying this is turning a negative into a positive. Many of us have heard this stated in one form or another. This was one of the first few Tools I ever used. I got it from my first and maybe favorite “headspace” book. It is called The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma, and it is often the book I will buy for people who are having struggles in their lives. Almost everything that has been a negative in my life has actually led to something better.
When my parents got divorced, it seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen. What evolved from that were two new families, new parents, brothers and sisters I would have never had. If you asked me at the time, I would have done anything to keep my parents together. Ask me now, and I could not imagine my life without them apart. I’ll give you another example. There have been times I have prayed to hold on to relationships I have had. Now, I thank God they never worked out.
If you practice finding what can be the benefit in the face of adversity, it will keep the bumps in the road as bumps and not pitfalls. I think adversity is life’s way of making a correction to get you back on track. Use it as a benefit and it can help you refocus and remind you what you are striving to achieve. Dwell on it and just stare at a flat tire that can be fixed. Flat tires are part of life, will you change it and find the next town or be a crazy person cursing at it?
When we constantly try to find the best of any situation, we are training our brain for success. We want to enforce pathways and chemistry in the body that are positive. Finding the positive aspects of a bad situation gives us direction for action. By doing so, we are less likely to become stagnant and hence do nothing. It also sets us up for success in the future because we will be better prepared to tackle similar challenges as they arise. If that’s not good enough for you, then think of it this way; people would rather be around a positive person who tries to make the most of a situation than someone who sits and complains about anything. Also, there is a risk of becoming just plain negative about everything if you’re not careful. Be aware, I am not saying make everything pie in the sky. What I am saying is that more than 90% of the time you can find some good in any situation, if this is a Tool you decide to put to use.