Since I was a kid, whenever I've heard bad news, my first response has been "well, that's awesome" or "great - now tell me the bad news." If you've known me for a while, you've heard this sentiment in one form or another.
Once accompanied by a healthy flavor of sarcasm, it gave way in recent years to a genuine search for empowerment versus disempowerment.
A friend lent me his copy of Tools of Titans Sunday. Contained within it is a contribution by former Navy Seal Jocko Willink, simply entitled, "Good." Not to be confused with the old school Power of Positive Thinking, he details how bad news is A perspective. There is always some opportunity within it as a realist, not optimist.
As he says:
- Didn't get promoted? Good. More time to improve.
- Didn't get the project or mission? Good. More time to prepare.
- Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.
- New problem? Good. Chance to create new solution.
No matter how bad, news is life. We can cultivate our skill at handling it instead of getting stuck in a hoped-for fantasy which isn't real. This isn't optimism versus pessimism. This is efficacy versus hopelessness.