In 1608, when the telescope was first demonstrated to a group of European leaders, they considered it a terrible weapon of war. Why? These heads of state reasoned that a general could see enemy armies coming from a much further distance, thus giving him an unfair advantage.
Most of us would never have expected this conclusion, yet war was one of the first applications these leaders saw.
And just as something good like a telescope can be turned towards bad ends, so can something we think of as bad be used for good.
In fact, we can learn the art of finding hidden benefits in so-called “bad” events
When we do, we can feel grateful even during times of hardship. It allows us to find the joy in small things. To realize we can live in fulfilling ways even when many things don’t go our way. Or even when it seems little to nothing is working.
How to discover what we can appreciate during “bad” times
It can be a bit tricky to find moments of appreciation during “hard” times like the current crisis, so I suggest first looking for some hidden benefits in smaller unwanted situations such as feeling annoyed that someone got to a parking space before you. Or you just found out that the package of office supplies you need soon will be delivered a month late. Or maybe the store ran out of toilet paper again.
Finding the hidden benefits in these events will build up your ability to find them for the more challenging events during our current crisis
I’ll show you how to apply this perspective to the events I listed above and then I’ll show how to apply them to something more difficult.
Someone took my parking space.
“I’ll have to park further away. That means I’ll get more exercise.”
My office supplies will be delivered late.
“I get to work on the skill of conserving the materials I have on hand.”
Someone cut me off on the freeway.
“Grrr. At first it’s annoying. Then I think about the potential danger. Finally, I get that this can help me appreciate each moment I’m alive.”
As you can see, it does take a bit of creativity to apply the exercise even to small events.
Now I’ll apply this “Bad to Good” exercise to my current situation — being all alone in my apartment for hours on end
I am healthy and can take care of myself which is a blessing beyond words.
I have a profession in which I help people. The work is gratifying and makes me feel connected to others.
I am working at home and am grateful to have my clients to support through this challenging time.
I have the most beautiful view of nature from my apartment that I now get more time to appreciate.
I have access to hiking trails that are gorgeous all around my house and more time to spend walking on them.
It is the first time my women’s group has had all 11 of us together in town in the past two years.
I have Zoom to see my grandson and two daughters.
I now have Zoom lunches with friends that I haven’t seen for ages such as my friends in Norway.
My stores are still stocked and I have plenty of food (too much in fact :))
I keep hearing about perfect strangers stepping up and helping each other.
I got to know some wonderful neighbors that I’d never met before.
After making this list, I feel much more appreciative and grateful for all the blessings I have.
But aren’t some things like murder really bad?
I would never suggest someone try to find the good in such a tragedy. However, most of the “bad” in our lives is pretty small. By finding the good in unwanted events, we can add just a little more joy to our lives. And during a time of crisis, we can use all the joy we can get.
To try this exercise yourself:
- Choose just one small annoyance or inconvenience.
- Then think about the potential positive aspects of this experience or it’s positive consequences.
- Then notice how you feel. You may feel just a little lighter and just a little more appreciative than before.
Why did those European leaders instantly see the telescope as a weapon? They were all still embroiled in the 80 Years War and so they had a lot of practice thinking about conflict. When you practice looking for the good you can be as good at finding benefits in unwanted events as they were at finding more ways to fight.
How to eliminate 19 beliefs that limit confidence
Why are people afraid to do new things? Why do they sometimes feel like impostors? Why aren’t they able to just assume they will figure out how to make things work?
The answer is limiting beliefs. Specifically, self-beliefs.
When you have a limiting belief about yourself, it’s hard to escape. You are with your “self” all day long. But when you change a self-belief what happens? The invisible barrier in your way seems to vanish.
Announcing Natural Confidence: A way to eliminate self-doubt
The Natural Confidence program isn’t a rah, rah cheerleader saying “you can do it.” We know that kind of message doesn’t lead to lasting change. Instead, it helps you unlearn the beliefs that keep you from knowing that you’ll find a way to reach your goals and overcome problems. When that happens, you experience the freedom to act. You can get Natural Confidence here and see the many success stories from people who tried the program. Go to www.NaturalConfidenceProgram.com.