Four Tips for Finding the Silver Lining in Most Situations

Assess your situation closely and look for the blessingDo you hear sayings like “look for the silver lining and be thankful” but have trouble truly taking it to heart?  Experiencing gratitude in our daily lives can take some extra effort on our part. The truth is it’s a choice.  As our lives become more hectic and challenged, we must remember to slow down and look for the blessing in each moment.

We have the ability to be thankful everyday in the lives we lead. There are things to appreciate and opportunities for gratitude in every situation.  We just have to look at those situations with new eyes.  If you find yourself plagued by whining and complaining, consider these things on your quest for an attitude of gratitude:

1. The presence of others.  Identify who is present with you and focus on those you appreciate or admire.  In what way are they showing you favor or grace?  How are they making the situation bearable or better?  What generosity are they showing you?  Think about and celebrate those individuals and be grateful for their presence.

2. Your current environment.  Asses your environment and zoom in on those things that are comfortable or appealing.  What sights, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes are pleasant and enjoyable?  In what way are you safe?  What is the climate or atmosphere?  Concentrate on things surrounding you that are worthy of acknowledgment and praise.

3. Any lessons learned.  Look carefully at your situation and identify new insights or wisdom gained as a result of the experience.   Did you learn to do anything better or differently?  Did you acquire any new knowledge or information?  In what way was the situation educational?  Focus on the lessons learned as a result of escaping your comfort zone.

4. The unexpected blessing.  Examine your situation and the outcome.  In what way is it better than you expected?  In what way does it exceed your expectations or desires?  How could the end result have been worse?  Look for and celebrate the miracle in your situation, no matter how large or small.

I was once in a minor car accident where I was the victim of a hit and run.  I was sitting in my car stopped at a light when the pickup truck in front of me suddenly screeched in reverse and backed into the front of my Honda Civic.  The pickup then took off down the street!

My first reaction was anger and frustration, followed by worry.  But as I looked more closely at the situation I decided to focus on the blessings and there were many.  Thankfully, I wasn’t the victim of a carjacking or something worse.  Thankfully, despite the new sound coming from under the hood, my car was drivable and I was only a few miles from home; I made it home safely.  Thankfully, no one was injured and the damage to my car was mostly cosmetic.  Upon closer inspection of my situation I decided that it could have been much worse, and I was actually quite fortunate.  I had much to be grateful for.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to opening ourselves to new perspectives.  Stay calm and keep a watchful eye for the silver lining.  Then choose gratitude in your effort to enjoy life.

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Favorite Quote

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” John Milton

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