There’s an old saying that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans. And it's very difficult to transform negativity into positivity. While we like to think we control all aspects of our own destiny, it’s simply not the case. We have to be willing to roll with the unexpected roadblocks that pop up along the way and make detours when necessary.
We need to be able to reassess what we’re doing now and be open to trying something else. Every single day we face both negative and positive experiences; what we do with these experiences is entirely up to us. If we actively celebrate the positives and learn from the negatives, we can begin to turn our negatives into positives.
Accept that life doesn’t always go as planned
All people are driven by different motivations. While many people can roll with life’s obstacles with relative ease, others get thrown for a loop when something out of the ordinary crosses their path. Some people struggle when things don’t go their way. They prefer for the entire world to be in balance. If they aren’t careful, one negative issue can snowball into a personal crisis. Staying aware of their surroundings and staying focused on the big picture can help avoid the negative spiraling.
Other folks who tend to be very set in their ways may also find it difficult to deal with roadblocks. Being set their ways doesn’t allow them a lot of flexibility for change, so when change is forced upon them, they tend to resist. The key for people who experience this is to at least be open to new and unexpected things, and to attempt to roll with the changes. If either of these examples sounds like you, you may have to pay extra special attention to stay on a positive course.
Change your perspective
During a recent speaking engagement, renowned speaker/motivator Kevin Paul Scott recounted a parable about two stables. It went something like this: Where there is no oxen, the stable is clean but with the strength of the oxen comes the increase in the harvest. The message he was trying to communicate was that things we may initially view as a negative maybe a blessing in disguise.
In one stable, everything was pristine and spotless. But there were no oxen present. In the other stable, it was filled with oxen, but also filled with all the dirt and waste that comes with the presence of those animals.
While the first stable may look nicer, it was not productive. The second stable may have lacked aesthetic beauty, but it was useful. The second stable had a resource in the animals, as well as the animal waste used to fertilize the crops. Looking a little deeper, what first appeared as a detriment was actually a benefit.
A stable without animals is like a business with no customers. As our businesses grow, we may face new obstacles and challenges. Instead of looking at those negatively, think of them as a learning experience. Viewed from a different perspective, consider your challenges to be the cost of doing business.
Do you regret that rose bushes have thorns or do you rejoice that thorn bushes produce roses? It’s the same bush; how do YOU look at it? Is your glass half empty or half full? Life is all about our perception of the things we encounter each and every day.
If your inner voices keep sending negative messages, it’s time to change the channel. Surround yourself with positive people, read a self-help book or try meditation to calm the negative in your mind. Look for the good in every situation.
Learn from your failures
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing and expecting a different result. Do you find yourself repeating mistakes or stuck in unpleasant situations on a regular basis?
Absolutely everything we experience can fall into one of two categories: a positive or negative experience. If we can train ourselves to enjoy and celebrate the positive things while we learn from the negatives, we put ourselves in a much better position to succeed.
Each time you have a roadblock, think about the knowledge and insight you have gained about a person situation or experience. Believing we have gained something through having experienced an obstacle will help us to move past it more quickly. Though this may not be the easiest thing to do, it’s a practice that can change your entire mindset and how you view the world around you.
The choice is ours whether we are happy or unhappy. Situations present themselves and it’s up to us how we choose to react to them. If we make a conscious effort to find the positive in every experience we have, we will get over our setbacks much quicker while gaining valuable wisdom in the process. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” The choice is yours.