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?