Finding something positive in every situation

“How we choose to approach life — whether as a benefit-finder or a fault-finder — significantly impacts our physical and mental health, our experience of the world and the experiences around us”

Same event, different approaches, different interpretations.

Tal Ben Shahar shares a few personal story with two different approaches.

“I have attention deficit disorder. My mind wanders constantly, and I find it difficult to focus for any length of time on one activity. At times, my ADD makes learning and working incredibly difficult. Since the age of eleven, I dreamed of being a professional squash player. When I was twenty, just as I was getting ready to embark on a professional career in my sport of choice, I was injured. This injury was devastating emotionally. It shattered my dream. I was kicked out of the PhD program at Cambridge University in England — the only student in my year (and one of the few ever) to be expelled. All in all, it was a humiliating experience and a wasted year, professionally and academically. I am so unlucky !”

Same story.

“I have attention deficit disorder. It’s actually a good thing, because it forces me to focus on those activities that I actually love, because only something I am passionate about can capture my attention. It is a blessing : an internal mechanism that forces me to do things that makes me happy. Since the age of eleven, I dreamed of being a professional squash player. When I was twenty, just as I was getting ready to pursue my dream, I was injured. The injury ended my professional aspirations. As a result I decided to apply to university, and discovered psychology, which has been my passion ever since. I was kicked out of the PhD program at Cambridge University — the only student in my year (and one of the few ever) to be expelled. This experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise, preparing me for my future work as a consultant. I was at the time arrogant and full of myself — a likely prescription for failure. Being kicked out of the program humbled me, and I ended up spending some of the best years of my living and working in Asia. I am so lucky!”.

Looking at events through the lens of a benefit finder can help us perceive and experience the world in a different — often better — way.

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