I’m one of those people who can immediately spot the negative in a situation.
It’s probably just how my brain is wired–and how my ancestors’ brains were wired. Seeing the negative provides great benefits when you’re in survival mode. But we don’t deal with nonstop survival mode like our ancestors did. We need a new approach.
Here’s a quick technique I use to see the best in a situation that, at first glance, doesn’t look so great.
I break it down into lots of little pieces.
If I can’t see the best in the situation as a whole, can I see the best in something smaller? Let’s take the coronavirus pandemic as an example, since it’s on everyone’s minds. At first glance, this appears to me to be a terrible tragedy. But that kind of thought won’t get me anywhere. It will leave me stuck in place feeling like I can’t do anything to contribute.
But if I go smaller, if I break the seeming tragedy into tinier and tinier pieces, I start to see little glimmers of hope. I see people stepping forward. I see individuals donating money and time. I hear stories of compassion amidst the stories of greed and panic.
Next, I zoom in on the piece I’ve found.
I review the story that captured my interest. I understand what makes it special to me. I learn about the characters in the story, the people that make it come to life for me. I now notice and appreciate something that I never would have considered looking for.
This is a powerful strategy, even during times of great tragedy. Especially during times of great tragedy.