Those of you who practice positive thinking regularly know that it is much easier to be positive when things are going well in your life than when life is difficult. People often have more difficulty choosing a positive attitude when there is a crisis, tragedy, or challenging circumstances. Yet, it is precisely during these times that a positive attitude is most useful.
Maintaining a positive attitude in difficult times requires you to broaden your perspective and suspend judgment. Your attitude is directly related to your perception and interpretation of events. It is important to recognize that all of our experiences - especially the most difficult ones - offer seeds of opportunity and growth. Sometimes these seeds are subtle and hard to find, but they are always there. Have you ever had a situation that at the time you thought was terrible, only later to find out that it was one of the best things that ever happened to you? While it is good to have this realization after the fact, the key is to have this understanding during a difficult time.
The best way to do this is to use applied faith. Applied faith means that you are able to trust in the moment of a difficult experience that there will be something good that will come - even if you can't see it right then. You simply trust that with time you can find the positives and/or opportunities that come from the experience. For example, a common positive outcome during times of crisis is a greater connection with loved ones and/or with a higher power. People often reorganize their priorities when faced with a trauma or disaster - placing love, relationships, and spirituality at the top of the list.
So the next time you are faced with a challenge - no matter how big or small - try shifting your perspective and looking for the seeds of growth and opportunity. Even if you don't see these seeds immediately have faith that they are there and you will see them in time.