100 Ways to Come out of Difficulties Stronger

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4. Find the good in the bad

ROMAN HASSMANN, a member of the European management team of Amway, illustrates it perfectly: “When I’m walking down the street and step in dog poop, I take pleasure in the fact that it wasn’t a nail.”

The ability to find something good in every challenge that we face, or every mistake we have made, develops our ability to see life from a better angle and form positive emotions, even when a particular situation does not in itself give us any positive emotions. We all have within us the ability to naturally reduce stress.

I meet lots of people who have the ability to make others happy, but have a problem doing it for themselves. In our blog we present some simple techniques for fixing this. Until then, please consider these 3 questions:

  • Despite all the downsides, is there something we can be grateful for in this situation?
  • How would we encourage our best friend if he or she were in our situation?
  • How can we be better than our more negative selves?

5. Look for the successes and failures in your personal archive

Thanks for the memory! We carry everything important from our past inside us, just waiting for us to use them in our future. The things in our past help us to move forward, but how do they do this?

Let’s remember those past challenges we were so afraid of, like starting out in our new job. Let’s remember those first days that we managed to get through, the first goals we managed to achieve, the first failures we succeeded in absorbing. Remembering the successes is how our way of thinking becomes positive.

At each step in our life we have thought that what we have faced is the worst, but we’ve been thinking that since childhood. Remember when I got a C in art, can you even comprehend the tragedy? Or when my first girlfriend cheated on me, slept with my friend and I was standing on a railway bridge wanting to jump! It’s hard for me to believe that I felt that way. It was 25 years ago, and it just seems ridiculous now.

I overcame all of this. I also won a literary competition and a table tennis tournament at camp, and much more, which apparently doesn’t matter today. And it cost me so much suffering and sacrifice at the time…

The important word here is apparently. At that time it really did matter. Everything back then was my Everest. In the long term it wasn’t important WHAT I won or lost, but HOW I learned to think myself into being WHOM I have become.

Each of the countless little victories and defeats that I went through form part of who I am today. My life has not been affected by what happened to me, but by how I dealt with it. Every reaction to every good and bad event was a stepping stone that’s still within me today.

Still putting off that visit to the dentist? Thinking about how to avoid an important project, unpleasant telephone call, or meeting? Realise that these are not the important things, but you are. Be yourself, your stronger you. Understand that what you do today and every day shapes your future.

© Petr Casanova