I’ve always thought that the comparison of life to a roller coaster was a strange one. Roller coasters have their ups and downs, just like life does, sure. But unlike the downs in life, the downs on roller coasters are the highlight of the ride. It’s what we anticipate the whole way up; we can’t wait for the exhilarating drop, to let our arms fly up and scream at the top of our lungs. We don’t exactly react the same way to the downs in life though. But just because they’re unpleasant, they don’t have to be all negative. In fact, they can be quite positive.
We make mistakes and have bad things happen to us all the time. Let’s say you’re headed to work one morning and on your way, you get a flat tire. No big deal, you pull over to the side of the road, it takes a few minutes at the most, and you’re good to go. Except you’ve never changed a flat tire before. You know where the spare is, and the tools you need, but you don’t know what to do with them. You end up calling roadside assistance, which takes about an hour to get somebody to help you. By the time you’re back on the road, you’re an hour late and you’ve missed a pretty important meeting you were supposed to speak at.
That doesn’t seem positive at all, I know. The positive part is what you learn from it though. That night, you ask a parent, a friend, find a video online, find some way to figure out and teach yourself how to change a flat tire. Now you’ve just learned a valuable skill, so next time it happens you’ll know exactly what to do, and you won’t have to wait an hour for help.
I think that a big part of finding the lesson from every bad situation or mistake in your life is perspective. It’s about changing the way you look at situations like the one above. Instead of focusing on everything bad about something, try finding the good in it. Make an effort to ask yourself “What did I learn from this”?
Life has its ups, and it certainly has plenty of downs, but they can be just as enjoyable as the ups. Change your perspective, the way you look at problems and mistakes you make, and you’ll begin to find the lesson in each of them.
“Don’t waste a good mistake. Learn from it.” – Robert Kiyosaki
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