Serious: This is a very good outlook to have. It would be very nice to be able to look at every experience and see the beauty, elegance and things that could be learned from it. It is not always possible, however, to step away from the immediate and not-so-immediate negative impact of these events to see the positive. "We'll look back on this and laugh" is a truism for just that reason. Once a person has the opportunity, the clarity and the distance to examine a situation more objectively, it becomes possible to look for the silver among the clouds. In the immediate, though, it is not realistic to expect someone to lose their job and look at it as a learning experience if they have something invested in the job.
Knee-jerk: This was way too long. Bobby McPherin said it with much more brevity: "Don't worry, be happy."
Fly-off-the-handle: Yeah right! "I'm sorry, Mr. Smith. Your mom just died." "AWESOME! Let's go find some positives!"
Questions to ponder:
1. Can you think of something that happened to you that was "just awful," but that turned out to be a positive experience?
Any experience where I had to slog through the discomfort of alienating people because I like knowing the truth rather than being spoon-fed what people think I want to hear. Yeah, it sucks to have people resent me, but if I know it, it's better.
2. What sort of things build most character in us: the positive and easy, or the difficult and sometimes negative?
This is a question that has no value to me. It's not even a question. It's a statement with the comparator removed and a question-mark at the end in place of a period. You know the answer, and I know the answer. Which is better: a kick in the balls, or twenty-five dollars?
3. How would you advise a friend to look at his or her problems?
Do you look at yours in the way that you would advise others to?
In general, I try to stay out of people's problems. They are for them to deal with unless I'm specifically asked for advice. In that case, I suggest they tackle their problems head-on with no compromise. Absolutely, I do.
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