Winning Words

Looking for the good and creating joy

Column by Michael Norton
Posted

The past five weeks have been extremely busy, including several flights and two cross-country road trips.

Albeit I snuck in a vacation at the beach, I was unable to heed my own advice and completely disconnect from work and completely revel in the sun and sand.

However, I will say this, as crazy as the business trips and vacation have been, they have also been exceedingly productive and energizing.

You see, part of the problem sometimes, even when we are on vacation, is that we quickly get frustrated with situations and others around us. We look for the bad instead of the good. You know what I mean, right?

We are in line for an attraction or dinner and someone jumps the line and gets in ahead of us. And, yes, that can be completely exasperating, but only if we allow it. What if we just allowed ourselves to think positively and think, "Well, maybe they have some reason that is more urgent for them to go first than mine." Or maybe, in the case of the restaurant, "They will not get the best server and we will."

My old boss, mentor, and great friend Zig Ziglar used to remind us that, "Some people go around looking for the bad like there was some kind of reward for it." And if we look for the bad, it sure is easy to find.

However, I am here to remind you, as Zig always reminded me, that it is just as easy and maybe even easier to look for and find the good in people, situations, and in life.

I know, I know, how could that even be possible when so many things seem to stack up against us at times? Money problems, work-related issues, health crises, and broken or damaged relationships take up residence in our lives when we least expect them, and we would certainly rather be looking at a brighter picture. And we can look for that brighter picture through the lens of hope.

Even in the face of these very issues that hurt us, frustrate us, or limit us, we can look for that silver lining and absolutely look for the good.

When we have money problems we are forced to rethink our current strategy and plan. I know many people who have dealt with bankruptcy only to find their passion and start their very own successful business.

There are countless stories of people with work-related challenges, who always used to blame the company or others for their problems, who then found out that they could contribute at a higher level personally and took ownership of improving the current office environment.

And most inspiring are those people facing a health issue rising up to either help others in the same situation or never allowing their debilitation to limit their performance. They search out what is good and what can be done and get after it.

The emails I have received from our community over these past five-plus years include incredible stories of people who felt brokenhearted until they realized that relationships that were intended to be mended were, and those relationships that needed to end actually ended, and they were never happier once they sought out the good in themselves and became less reliant on others for true happiness.

Have you ever been on the highway while another driver was swerving in and out of traffic, almost causing an accident, and the whole experience left you absolutely troubled? What if for one minute we stopped and thought that maybe they have a medical emergency and are trying to get to the hospital?

Now that occurs in about 2 percent of all rude driver behavior instances, but it could happen, and if we looked for the good instead of getting angered and upset, we could easily continue on our very merry way.

Finding joy begins with each one of us looking for the good instead of the bad. How about you, can you use a little more "good finding" in your life? If so, I would love to hear all about it at gotonorton@gmail.com, and as we collectively look for the good it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock and the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation.