As difficult as it may be to wrap our minds around, most situations, circumstance, and experiences we encounter in life are pretty much neutral in nature, and cease only to be based on the meaning, value, and perspective with which we chose to interpret them. Now I’m sure we’ve all had some well meaning person tell us to just look on the bright side and as most of know, this is not usually so helpful – especially when we’re right smack in the middle of an emotional upheaval.

Sometimes in life things suck. And that’s okay. The goal is not to avoid ever feeling sad, bad, mad, disappointed, or upset. Feeling feelings, even the ‘negative’ ones are part of being human. The goal is though to not let those feelings take over and become our M.O. all day, everyday. In my research on happiness, I came across a different way of interpreting the less-than-ideal – after, of course, we’ve taken a moment to stomp our feet and maybe boo hoo for a moment or two… or twenty. The strategy I’m talking about here is after having a little time to feel miserable, we take step back and ask ourselves: “What is perfect about this problem?” in other words, “despite the frustration, difficulty, and inconvenience of this situation, what am I going to choose to get out of it?” Now, my goal is not to placate, underestimate, or downplay some of the very difficult challenges that many of us face, but I am saying we can often find a way to use at least a part of our troubles to our advantage… and believe-you-me some situations definitely require more of a creative effort than others.

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