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Learn from the Positive or the Negative

“We don’t get to choose what happens to us but we do get to choose how it affects us”.

I’m not quite sure who made this statement but; it has intrigued me. At times, when it crosses my mind it seems very smug. At times it sounds “out of touch with my reality”. At other times, it sounds like it couldn’t really be uttered by one person to another person, very insensitively; said at a time of disappointment and pain. Let’s look at a handful of occasions you may have witnessed or lived:

· Maybe it was right after you got that promotion you worked so hard for.

· Or, was it when you didn’t get the promotion you had worked hard for.

· Maybe it was when you were disappointed by having fallen short of your expectations when you tried to introduce a change that would have meant a needed improvement in daily operations.

When “things happen to us, there’s going to be a “reaction”. How we deal with “things” that happen; desirable and positive, or undesirable and negative in relation to our “Plan”. This is where the “opportunity space” is.

In both situations the opportunity space is to appreciate via “reflection” regarding two things: 1, were there factors or influences that were “in your control” and/or 2, were there things that were “not in your control”? If you recognize that the good/positive things of your actions have merit, then you may be reinforced in your ability to build on this knowledge. On the other hand, were there things that, when faced with a similar situation going forward, you might be better served to look for alternative “action steps”.

In all of these hypothetical scenarios, hopefully, you will maintain a forward focus. Sometimes things that happen are out of your control. Learn from the experience and continue to STRIVE. “Learning” also occurs, from falling short. For example, don’t make the same missteps twice. When things go well, build on them. There will be “learning” from both experiences.


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