Can Bad Things Turn Good?

In my worse moments when things are not going well – like I’ve sustained an injury, or I can’t find my house keys – you know all that annoying stuff – I don’t always see the positive.  In fact, I usually can’t even believe that there is a positive. But honestly, over time, when I look back at some of the most difficult times in my life, I realize that those challenges either made me 1) smarter, better, kinder or more empathetic, and/or 2) they gave me something that that led to something worthwhile.  For example, had I not suffered a serious back injury, would I have developed the awesome yoga practice that now is a key component of my mental health and physical wellness?

 There are countless stories of people who faced adversity both large and small, only to find that tremendous opportunity resulted from that very thing that seemed so painful and difficult.  Here’s a silly story but a good example: In 2008, musician Dave Carroll ( gets on a United flight with his band. Forced to check his guitar, he is horrified when he sees his $3500 Taylor guitar being tossed around the tarmac. In the process, the guitar was smashed along the base and couldn’t be repaired. After Dave worked with United Airlines for months to try to get some compensation, and was not only refused any remedy but also overlooked, inconvenienced and abused, he told United that he would write and produce three songs and videos about his guitar experience and post them on YouTube; which he did.  And as of today, October 17, his first United video has garnered over 5.5 million views.

But that’s not the punch line. The punch line is that this incident, and Dave’s reaction to it, increased the interest in his band’s music far beyond anything else he’s done in his 20 year career as a musician, according to an interview he gave to Wood & Steel Magazine.  Even better, the article reports that the success of his viral video campaign has landed him gigs as a lecturer on social networking and customer service! 

So, who really knows what possibilities might result from misfortune?

Next time you consider your own difficulties, re-examine them.  Did something really good and juicy come out of them?  While no one wants bad things to happen, and truly, we all wish they didn’t, can you be open to the possibility that the challenge you’re facing might just be the first step toward something good?

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Date: Saturday, 17. October 2009 21:31
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