Since I can remember, was always striving to see the positive side in every situation, although I know it’s not easy to do that constantly, especially when things are not working out according to our expectations. Our lives are filled with challenges that make it difficult sometimes to see the glass half-full. However, especially during those times we come to realize that a positive attitude can make the difference between giving up and going forward.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~ Winston Churchill
I’ve recently heard a story related to this topic – and although am not sure about its origin, its message goes a long way and would like to share with you:
Long time ago there were two best friends that used to grow up together: one of them was coming from a wealthy family and was to become a king, and the other was just an average peasant guy – but overall they were great friends.
Despite being poor, the peasant had a magnificent way of looking at life, he was always seeing the good side of things – he was what we’d call a positive and optimistic person. As they both grew up, the rich man became a king and the peasant remained a peasant, but they still maintained their friendship and were doing fun things together.
One day they decided to go on a hunting trip. As the king was aiming to shoot his target, the rifle backfired and blew his thumb off. His best friend was witnessing what happened and his first reaction was to tell the king: Don’t worry about it, because this is good! When hearing the peasant’s words, the king became so upset and infuriated that he decided to cast him into prison.
Meanwhile, a year goes by and the king was back again hunting with his men. At one point, he separated from them, went deeper into the woods and got captured by cannibals. As the cannibals were just about to begin their feast, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being extremely superstitious and believing that a body that is not whole is a bad sign, they got afraid and released him.
So the king rejoined his men and told them the entire story – and just then he realized that his best friend, the peasant, told him about a year ago that losing his thumb was a good thing. So he went straight to him to apologize and to get him released from prison.
He explained everything to his friend and told him how he finally realized that missing a thumb was actually good, because in the end it has saved his life. Moreover, the king offered to compensate the peasant for all the hardship he’s put him through, expressing again how sorry he was for ruining his life by casting him into prison all this time. To which the peasant said: Don’t worry about it, because this is good! Being puzzled by his friend’s answer, the king asked: How can this possibly be good, again? And the peasant replied: It’s good because if I wasn’t down here, I would’ve been out there with you!
Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light. ~ Dan Brown
Maybe you’ll find this story amusing because it may seem a bit stretched, but I personally love it because what it speaks to is the idea that there’s good in everything, even if we’re not able to see it right away – and it’s up to us to find the good in each and every situation that we’re facing.
Walking down memory lane, I’m sure that all of us can associate this story with past situations or events in our lives – and how in the end what we thought to be bad has actually turned out to be good. The question is: Why should we try to stay positive and how can that help us? Well, let’s just state the fact that no great things in life have ever been achieved by pessimists.
The best way to stay positive is to be aware that we have the power to choose how we feel. Whenever we let external events, situations or people change that, we’re actually handing out that power. Moreover, we have to keep practicing being positive by focusing on what we like, instead of what we don’t like – the more we practice the better we get at it.
Last but not least, we need to surround ourselves with positive people and remove all the negative influences, because they could constantly pull us down, no matter how hard we try. Even for me, as an overall optimist staying constantly positive is still a work in progress – and can only imagine how hard it would be like for someone who’s been pessimistic all their life.
There may be a though world out there and I know from experience how we can all feel hopeless at times, especially in difficult situations – but this world is also one of many possibilities that we may not be aware of yet. Remember to always keep an open mind and instead of asking ourselves “Why is this happening to me?” we could ask instead: “What is this trying to teach me and how can I make the best of it?”
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~ John Wooden