As I reflect on the school year that has concluded I know that I had way more good news than bad and yet I let the bad news consume me for a time. Not getting a job I really wanted knocked me for a loop. The time spent being disappointed detracted from enjoying other aspects of my life and that was a poor choice on my part. Especially when the end result was that I ended up having the opportunity to take on an incredible job that I would not have considered otherwise.
I know it is easy to see what's wrong or missing but it does little to create forward progress. How we view the setbacks and respond to them is what allows for gains to be made. Research speaks of a 4:1 positive to negative ratio or the need to have four positive actions to outweigh the impact of each negative action. This is where we can exercise choice. Rather than looking at these five math statements
3 x 5 = 15
10 – 6 = 4
2 + 7 = 9
11 – 8 = 2
12 / 4 = 3
and noticing that one is wrong, perhaps it is more prudent to notice that four are right. This by no means dismisses the notion that one of the solutions is incorrect. Instead it becomes a question of where we spend the bulk of our energy. Do you notice the one student without supplies or the twenty-four with them? Is our attention drawn to disparaging the tardy or honoring those present?
I know each day I wake up and ponder the issues about to unfold, I have a choice to make. I hope I'll decide to have a great day more often than not. Seems better than the other option.