Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Don’t accept problems at face value. 

When adversity hits, our innate response is to focus sharply on the dangers, difficulties, and downside. Nothing wrong with that per se. The question is, how long should we let it continue?

As soon as the initial shock wears off, we need to give equal time to the upside. Shift your focus away from what’s troubling about the situation, and search intensely for what’s potentially good. Reinterpret the situation from a positive slant. Look for possible benefits that equal or even outweigh whatever you see that’s bad.

Now this reframing doesn’t come naturally. Most of us have to train ourselves to make such a transforming shift in perspective. It requires conscious effort—mental discipline—plus an open-mindedness to the idea that good things hide in strange places.

If you look back over your lifetime, though, you’ll note that some of the blackest clouds carried the shiniest silver linings. What you thought were your biggest problems maybe turned out to be the best things that ever happened to you. Positive reappraisal gives you a chance to envision the bright side so much sooner—like right now. This helps you through the stress, suffering, and uncertainty.  It also positions you to turn the minus into a plus.

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