Even when your alarm clock fails, you hit every red light, and you’re late to the big interview, there are always good things if you just stop to focus on them.
Even when you fall on the ice, the power goes out, and you lose your iPhone, there are always good things.
When you get in a fender bender, your luggage is lost, and you have a bad case of food poisoning, there are always good things.
When the flood damages your home, you get laid off from your job, and your identity is stolen, there are always good things.
It’s easy to focus on the negative. We’re primed to focus on negative events everyday by watching the news and listening to those around us complain about things like the weather, traffic, their jobs, etc. Negative begets negative (and positive creates positive!).
Further, humans have a negativity bias. As part of our survival instinct, we can quickly shift our attention to potential risks in the environment so that we can take action to remain safe if required. Although this instinct is not nearly as useful now as it was in our caveman days, it can cloud our perspective by drawing our attention to the negative and placing more weight on these situations.
But, even when we are having a bad day (or week or year), we have the power to turn it around. In the words of Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Thus, we can always ascribe a positive meaning to seemingly negative situations (i.e., a silver lining).
Another strategy is recognizing that although there are negative situations happening in our lives at the moment (e.g., we owe several thousand dollars in taxes – ugh!), we can likely conjure up some positive situations that are also occurring simultaneously (e.g., we just got a new client – yay!). It just takes a moment of conscious thought to shift to the good things that are always there if you take a moment to look.
So remember, when you feel exhausted, the chips are down, and you feel like you’ve lost hope, there are always good things.