August 16. “There is an advantage in every disadvantage, and a gift in every problem.” (John Johnson)
This is the silver lining quote. It is along the lines of making lemonade out of lemons, it is turning the frown upside down. In the quiet calm of a summer morning, when all in the world is going well, it is easy to believe. When the storm clouds gather, and the times are tough, it is far harder to get a person’s head around the notion.
In retrospect I can see where problems in my life have brought opportunities, where difficulties brought unexpected gains. The classic example might be the death of my father. It altered the course of my life in profound ways, and through a series of decisions – some based on limited income because of his death, I ended up at the same University as my wife. Had we not met there, we likely would never have met, and the 30+ years we’ve been together wouldn’t have happened.
There are thousands of other examples large and small. Incidents in my life where a disadvantage produced and advantage, and a problem produced a gift. The hard part is always seeing it in the moment.
I am not sure I will ever be at the point in my life where, while in the midst of difficulties, I will be able to see that there are abundant opportunities being offered. While this quote is most definitely true, I really do believe it is only visible through a retrospective lens.
What do you think? When faced with difficulties can you see the opportunities? And if you can, how are you able to focus past the current problem?