The Flipside

I’ve just finished re-reading an interesting book called ‘The Flipside’ by Adam J Jackson. The core theme to the book is the belief that every problem or obstacle that we face in life contains an equivalent or greater benefit or opportunity. This he calls the flip side.  I used to work in an environment (education) where there were always a whole host of problems that we needed to try to overcome. Sometimes these were ‘home-grown’ problems like a leaking school roof or vandalism to school buildings. Others were problems or obstacles thrown at us by local or central government. Consequently many people found themselves fire-fighting the problems rather than taking time out to reflect on how these obstacles or problems might be turned into exciting challenges or opportunities.

The book contains many stories of people who have faced economic problems, illnesses, accidents and who have turned disaster and tragedy into new opportunities. I am including here some of the quotes used by the author in this book for no other reason than they appealed to me:

“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed-door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.”    Helen Keller.

How often has this happened to you? We spend too much time looking back, worrying about what we might have done differently, wishing we could have that time back to do things differently. Unfortunately life is not like that, you can’t turn back the clock and do everything differently with the aid of hindsight. Once things have gone then they have gone – we need to learn from our mistakes but make sure that, at the same time, our eyes are focussed clearly on the future so that we don’t miss those exciting  opportunities being presented to us right now. Keep your eyes peeled for that open door! Here are a couple of other quotes in the same vein.

“To solve the problems of today we must focus on tomorrow.”Erik Nupponen

“Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.”George Bernard Shaw

This next quote is a new one on me and one I really like. The author Dr. Laurence J Peter, I have found out, was responsible for coming up with the Peter Principle, ie. ‘In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.’

“Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.”

I think that this is one of those quotes worth looking at over and over again and sharing & discussing with friends. Where is your train going?


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4 Responses to The Flipside

  1. aquatom1968 says:

    Great post and great quotes! I’ll have to look out for that book!

    I feel there is something to be learned from every experience we have, but at times, if things aren’t going the way I would like them too, I have a tendency to overlook the lesson and focus on the wrong thing!

    I really like the George Bernard Shaw quote, I’ve never heard it before!

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I recently saw a sign outside of a Church which said, “Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is the present – a gift from God.”

    Don’t you find that we can sometimes spend too much time worrying about something that we have done and wishing we could turn the clock back and do it differently, or spend hours planning what we are going to do tomorrow, or the next day, or next week – when we don’t really know what tomorrow is going to throw at us. This, quite often, gives us very little time to enjoy the present – the things that we actually have some control over.

  3. penpusherpen says:

    It’s snowing again!! Yuk!!
    I suppose if your belief is that we’re here to learn from life, to make mistakes and grow as a person, we have to become forward thinking. Forever looking back takes so much out of you, the ‘what can I achieve despite …’ instead of ‘what if’s’.. should take full precedence. We are the full sum of our past, present and hope to be future, so we must get the calculation right…and I’ve always liked a challenge and with happiness as a goal it’s a spur to anyone of right minded thinking. I do hope my train is on the right lines, and the snow doesn’t cause any disruptions!! 😉 xPenx

    • Mike says:

      No snow here yet – just promises. I hope we get some, I love the snow – I think that’s the child in me.

      Love the thought of us being -“… the full sum of our past, present and hope to be future.” Which is why having the right goals and a clear vision of where we are going is so important – an essential part of the right calculations.
      Quite often we set goals to an end point instead of setting goals through a particular point, eg. some people set themselves a simple goal of getting to Friday, the end of the working week & then having achieved that goal don’t know what to do next. We always need to be looking beyond any goals we set ourselves.

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