DW's Blog

Good or Bad?

by DW Green — March 28, 2018

But thinking makes it so…

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” —Bill Shakespeare Hamlet

I have always found this notion perplexing. Seems true enough. What do you think? Ah the think word!

Are you having a good day or a bad day, today? How do you know?

There is no such thing as good or bad. They are comparisons to our expectations. They are not grounded in any objective standards and they are always relative – sometimes just in time.  

Is it bad, then, to get laid off? What if you hate your job but the fear of the unknown compels you to stay put. If you get laid off you may feel a weight off your back and be given the opportunity to explore new things. Is it good to get a job, then? Not if you end up working for people you don’t like, doing work that you don’t find fulfilling. I understand the realities of the world require us to make practical decisions, like making a living, but let us not judge the decisions we make or the experiences we have as good or bad. Lets just consider them all good.

If you have a colleague who you think is doing bad work, before you go tell them what is bad, think of one thing that you GENUINELY think is good. Now consider everything else an opportunity to improve. And then help them improve. 

If you think you’re having a bad day, think of one good thing about that day – maybe it’s a lesson. Maybe it’s an opportunity to look forward to tomorrow. Or maybe it’s just good that you’re having a bad day at work when others somewhere else are having a much worse day. Relatively speaking… to them… you’re having a good day. This is what events like the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami, bombs in Baghdad or September 11th do – they remind us that our lives are relative, and our problems are not so bad. Maybe our problems are good.

The people who achieve the most, the ones who lead, the ones who invent things or the ones who simply wake up every day and love their lives – all share this relative sense of the world. 

Thomas Edison, for example, said of things that didn’t go right, “I have not failed. I’ve just found ways that won’t work.” To perceive failure, you have to have a preconceived and subjective notion of success to make the comparison. Edison had no concept of failure; only lessons of things that didn’t work.

Pretty good blog post! Or pretty bad!


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