I recently heard a rather neat piece of advice about responding to the various, sometimes challenging events of life. The question posed was whether we approach these situations with what if down thinking; or what if up thinking.
In the what if down scenario the event is met with feeling of impending doom. What if everything goes wrong; what if I fail; what if everyone hates me or holds me in contempt; what if I appear weak or incompetent; and, in the context of parenting or teaching, what if this event affects my child or children badly.
In what if up thinking the script runs as follows: what if this is a great opportunity to learn; what if I emerge stronger and more resilient; what if new horizons open; what if I discover inner powers I didn t know I had; and, again in the context of the family and school, what if this is exactly the lesson my child was supposed to learn; what if I believe in their strength, rather than their fragility.
Having applied this form of thinking (without having the snappy name for it) for many years I find it works. What if up thinking is especially efficient because it is not an unrealistic la-la land approach, but can encompass the pitfalls by meeting them intelligently and rationally, but also optimistically with an up-beat energy.