What do you call a tiny epiphany?

An epiphanette? An epiphaneke? An epiphanino?

Urm, anyway. The Hive (a Slate.com project) can be a bit tiresomely corporate (with attendant tiresome corporate prose splattered with tiresome corporate neologisms), but I ran across something in one of its articles the other day that pleasantly surprised me with its balance of optimism and practicality, avoiding both pollyannaishness and pragmatism. Here’s the quote.

In a tough economy like the one we’re facing now, it’s easy to focus on the negative. Psychologists say our negative bias is baked in; a review of 233 research papers in psychology concluded, rather depressingly, that when it comes to the way we think, “bad is stronger than good.” Bad events, bad feedback, and bad emotions all have more impact on us than their good equivalents.

This bias will tempt you to focus on the negative when it comes to your work: What are the problems I’m facing and how do I fix them? And, in doing that, you’ll neglect an equally important question: What’s working now, despite the obstacles, and how can I do more of it?

“Finding the bright spots” means that you spot things that are working and study them carefully, in hopes that you can reproduce them. (This is distinct from “looking on the bright side,” which will just make you annoyingly sunny.)

Smart, eh? If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a week, you’ll know I can be a bit morose on my worse days, and I tend to zero in on the things I’m doing really poorly at work and in my home-keeping and with my friendships, rather than seeing the things I’m doing a bit better ( and trying to build on those. It’s a much cheerier proposition, really, and much better in the area of gratitude and remembering God’s mercy to me.


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