A retired weatherman was once questioned by a friend, “What kind of weather is it going to be tomorrow?”
“The kind of weather I am going to love,” was the instant response with a gentle smile on his wrinkled face. “How do you know that it will be the weather you will love?” the friend was curious.
The weatherman went on to explain, my years in weather department has taught me just one thing:
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
— John Ruskin, Victorian art critic and big time weather optimist
To make the most of everything that doesn’t go as planned is an attitude thing.
It would be quite difficult to find another book which better illustrates for children the power of imagination; the power to be alone in their own quite place, a place we all have…our mind.
The author begins this work with a declarative statement:
“Sometimes a person needs a quiet place.”
“A place to rest your ears from
bells ringing and
whistles shrieking and
grown-ups talking and
engines roaring and
horns blaring and
grown-ups talking and
radios playing and
Well, even grown-ups need a quiet place sometimes.”
(Source: A QUIET PLACE by Douglas Wood (author), Dan Andreasen (illustrator)
In poetic and gently philosophical prose, author Douglas Wood explores what it’s like to find that special place where we all can think our own thoughts and feel our own feelings. Dan Andreasen brings exquisite imagination and thoughtful wonder to words that will inspire readers of all ages to seek out their very own quiet place.
“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Amir”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Benjamin Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility” starts with this story:
A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,
SITUATION HOPELESS. STOP. NO ONE WEARS SHOES.
The other writes back triumphantly,
GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. STOP. THEY HAVE NO SHOES.
To the marketing expert who sees no shoes, all the evidence points to hopelessness. To his colleague, the same condition points to abundance and possibility. Each scout comes to te scene with his own perspective; each returns telling a different tale.
How often does fear win over our hopes and dreams? We constantly keep thinking about our frustrations but not about the potential that we still have in us. Don’t let your failures so far interfere with what is still possible for you to do.
The book will help you learn how to focus on what’s possible given a difficult situation, rather than just concentrating on the current problem. This is something that is very valuable when trying to work with others, and it will help you improve your process.
It also emphasizes the importance and value of failure. The Zanders explain how it’s often best to react to mistakes by saying “How fascinating!” and treating them as opportunities for improvement.
The Art of Possibility is deceptively easy to read. Filled with stories and examples from the worlds of both music and therapy that illustrate twelve helpful practices, you can quickly get through the text. However, these are simple to understand but difficult to master, so you may want to move through the book more slowly.
There is very little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big positive difference is weather it is positive or negative.
Long time ago I read the story of two shoe salesman, who were send to an island to sell shoes. The first sales man was shocked to realize that no one wore shoes. Immediately he sent a telegraph to his home office saying, “will return home tomorrow, no one wears shoes.”
The second sales man was thrilled by the same realization. Immediately we wired his home office saying, “please send me 10,000 pairs, everyone here needs them.”
In Awake, My Heart, J Sidlow Baxter wrote, “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty and every difficulty has an opportunity.” [Source]
Similarly in the story of David and Goliath, when Goliath came to fight all of the soldiers thought, “He is so big, we can never kill him.” But when David looked at the same giant he said, “”He is so big, I can not miss him.”
Many times we see the challenges as the sunset of life rather than the sunrise of bright new opportunity.
When things aren’t working the way you want them to, or you feel you’re surrounded by problems, it can be tempting to look outward and try to change the things that you feel are causing issues. Chances are the issues you’re facing aren’t so cut and dry. The solution to the problem might just be your attitude.
I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. -Walter Anderson
The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.
You always have a choice of how you are going to respond to what the world offers you. Do not let something dictate the way you react to things. You need to look within yourself and realize that you have the power to make things happen. We are a sum of all of our life’s experiences, so use these past lessons to help better your present situation.
Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us. The problem is that these reactions might not always be the best course of action, and as a result, they can make others unhappy, make things worse for us, make the situation worse.
We often react without thinking. It’s a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act. Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, compassion, cooperation, etc.
Let’s see whether or not you agree with the following statement.
“You are responsible for all of your experiences of life.”
There is a trick in this statement, it does not say “in life” but “of life.” You are not responsible for everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for how you react to what does happen to you. The formula is that, “Life acts. You react.” Your reaction is under your control.
In any life situation you are always responsible for at least one thing. You are always responsible for the attitude towards the situation in which you find yourself. Your attitude is your reaction to what life hands you. You can have either a more positive or a more negative attitude. Your attitude is under your control and can be changed. With the right attitude you can be a resilient person.
‘Do you have the patience to wait, till your mud settles and the water is clear?
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. – George Bernard Shaw
Two friends were walking home together. As they get to the fork where they part ways, the one turns to the other and says,”Man…life sure stinks!”.
His pal grins and says,”I think life is beautiful.”
From a nearby park bench an old bum overhears them. With a shaky voice from years of experiences he looks up at them,”You’re both right.”
He says as he turns to the second fellow,“But I’d rather walk with you.”