I truly believe that most individuals like being in a positive mode rather than a negative one. All of us have things happen in our lives, and many times it is those things that change our moods both with co-workers and our families. Have you ever thought that perhaps, if you took those negative situations at work and/or at home and look for positive things about them, you would not be stressed or have a bad day?

I try most of the time to be a positive person but like everyone else; I do have days where things come into my life that can make me stressed and ruin my day.

I recently had such a situation happen that I would like to share and show you that, by turning what started out as negative into a positive, one can really have a pleasant experience.

On a recent Saturday morning, about 8:00 am on the 215 Freeway in California, my tailpipe started hitting the highway and making a very loud noise. I was in the middle lane, and the 215 freeway was very busy. My first goal was that I immediately had to figure out how to get off the freeway safely and off to the side of the road immediately before the tailpipe fell completely off. I must admit that just trying to get off the freeway in all that traffic was making me a little stressed. I was on my way to a business conference in San Diego, CA., and was expected to be there by 9:30 am. It was apparent to me that this incident was not going to allow me to arrive timely which could have become another stress factor.

A friend was with me, and we both decided we were not going to let this situation stress us out. Instead, we would use the energy to look at the positive things that this event offered us.

It was amazing how many positive things we were able to come up with regarding this negative situation. I would like to just share some of them with you, to give you some ideas as to how you can take your own negative things and look at them from a whole different perspective.

1. We decided that perhaps by breaking down, we missed an accident or traffic jam up the road.

2. It was cool that morning, so we felt we were lucky, as we were not burning up in the car while we were waiting for the tow truck. Also, there was no fog, so other drivers could easily see us.

3. We felt lucky that we were fortunate to have a cell phone so that we could call the towing company.

4. I was glad I had AAA service, as they would cover the cost of the tow.

5. We both are very busy individuals so the waiting time allowed us to take some time and relax. This is something we both rarely do, and we even took in a few deep breaths.

6. At the location where the car was towed, we decided that we had the opportunity to see "Marty" who worked there and who we had not seen since our last need for a car repair. We also met a very nice woman who was also waiting for the car rental to come and pick us up so we could all rent a car.

7. At the car rental place, we noticed there was party supply place a few doors away, and they had a wonderful clown piñata hanging outside. My friend was planning to have a birthday party for her grandson. "What a perfect thing for the kids and the party," she said. So, had we not been at the car rental place, she would not have found the store or the clown piñata that she purchased?

8. We were happy that, since I had used this car rental before, I was already in the computer, which would cut down the time it would take to get the rental papers complete.

9. We had not as yet had our morning coffee and, low and behold, there was coffee shop a few doors away from the car rental, so while I dealt with the paperwork my friend got the coffee for us. As we left the car rental place, we had the clown piñata and a cup of coffee and off we went to San Diego, CA and the conference.

10. Later we realized how glad we were that the car rental place was busy. For when we reached the 78 Freeway in North County San Diego, we realized we had just missed a very terrible accident. In fact, it was only five minutes ahead of us and the person was still pinned in the car. Seeing that made us realize how precious life was and how grateful we were because we had not been there when it was happening and they lost control of the car. As we passed the scene, we prayed that the people in the car would be okay.

11. We were both amazed how cool and calm we were. Even looking back at all that had happened, we truly felt this was due to the approach we used in dealing with the negative things that were happening around us.

12. We arrived at the conference in San Diego two hours late and found that we had not missed much. We both had previously heard the first speaker, and it was now their lunch break, so we got to start the day networking. Then, after lunch, it was time to enjoy the other presenters and the rest of the day.

We took the opportunity to share this experience with others at the conference and as they thought about what had happened and the positive results we found in our experience they all said "you know what next time something negative happens to me I am going to try and use this positive approach and see what happens."

The morale of this story is that one can look for positive responses in negative things that happen in our professional and personal lives. Take time to look for the good in any situation you have to face. Remember, happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don''t even remember leaving open.

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