The bright side

“I’m just sick of it!” my teenage daughter exclaimed from across the dinner table.  She was having a tough time with something and letting the rest of us in on her misery.  Remember when you were young… how you felt the whole world could be against you and you had no power to change it?

In my most fatherly voice, somewhere between Ward Cleaver and Mr. Brady, I said to her, “You could turn your problems into opportunities if you really wanted to.  You know, when life hands you lemons…”

“What?  Throw them at people you don’t like?”

“Uh.  Nooooooo…. you make lemonade. You make the best of a tough situation. Come on…try to look on the bright side.” 

Look on the bright side… now I admit that phrase is easier said than done. Have you ever been in the middle of a really rough day when someone else cheerily suggested you simply adjust your attitude and look at your problems from a new perspective?  Did it hurt your hand when you slapped them?

What does it really mean to “Look on the bright side?”  I suppose this came from early astronomers observing the earth’s rotation, seeing that even when things get really dark, the life-giving sun eventually rolls around and puts you on the bright side of the earth again. It’s the cyclical nature of life – darkness and light, ups and downs, peaks and valleys. 

The ability to strive for the mountaintop when you’re in the middle of a valley is NOT simple.  Let’s keep it real here… 2009 sucked for a lot of people.  But you survived it.  You’re still here.  In addition to listing the difficulties, why not count your blessings and build on them?

Optimism is a choice… your choice.  A new year is a milestone opportunity to look for the bright side, and I’m betting it will come around again.

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9 Comments on “The bright side”

  1. Jenny Hooks Says:

    I was once told “If you cannot control the situation, you can control the way you react to it.” I live by it.

  2. Cara Lane Says:

    Attitude is everything…
    “When life hands us rocks – it is our choice to build a wall or a bridge”

  3. Tom Rosten Says:

    David-

    I would like to share two quotes with you. Both support your point.

    1. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. – Dr. Suess

    2. I have discovered that I always have choices, and sometimes its only a choice of attitudes. – Judith Knowlton

    • davidgoad Says:

      Thanks Tom!
      The rest of the Dr. Suess quote:
      “You’re on your own.
      And you know what you know.
      You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

  4. Larry Baker Says:

    Great stuff, David. Now I just want to know the secret to getting a teenage girl to change her attitude (other than a Dad funded trip to the mall!)

    • davidgoad Says:

      Larry that’s a matter of acceptance, not change. Looks like you found the secret already 🙂

  5. Kimberlynn Says:

    LOVED THIS BLOG!!

    A possitive attitude goes a LONG way. I also believe in the power of what you put out, you get back. So put out goodness and possitivity and you will get it back. I have time and time again.

    Wonderful messages David!

    Kimberlynn


  6. “You can’t change the bad things that have happened to you but you can change your attitude in the way you handle them.” I’ve been told that thru so many rough patches in my life, as we all have and I must say at the time I just made a face and replied, “Whatever!” Then I realize you can’t let the bad things that have happened to you define who you are and that means more to me than that “attitude” comment.


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