Earlier this year, when I was commuting to Pennsylvania twice a week, I started listening to audio summaries of motivational books.
Normally I am not a big "motivational slogan" kind of guy. (Here is why.) But I did hear one quote that has stuck with me for months now. It comes from self-help author Dr. Wayne Dyer, who quoted someone as saying:
"In my world, nothing ever goes wrong."
In other words, everything is a learning experience. Our life is constructed around how we react to both the good and bad things, and these reactions – in and of themselves – are much more important than what actually happens.
This resonates with me. Much of my own happiness today rests in dealing with life as it is, and not just how I wish it was. I discovered over time that a cancelled flight, a delayed project, or even a personal struggle need not define my mood: we cannot control life events, but we can choose (with time and perspective) how we interpret many of these events. Everyone has ups and downs, but I look back on my life so far and see lots of lessons, none of them bad in the end.
Along the same lines, I recently heard some research that completely stunned me: people who win the lottery are generally no happier a year after they win – and people who become paraplegic are generally no *less* happy a year after their accident. So look at the people you know. The people who constantly bitched about life years ago are, by golly, still bitching now, right? And I'll bet the people with positive outlooks haven't changed much either. So guess who I choose to associate with?
Slogans have their limits, of course – I wouldn't try to tell someone who has just experienced a tragedy, for example, that nothing ever goes wrong. But for the most part, I feel that learning to accept things, overcome them, or let them point me in a new direction has a lot to do with why I am a pretty happy guy most of the time. Because in my world, nothing ever goes wrong. What do you folks think?