It could always be worse.

I’m an extremely optimistic person (or at least try to be), and the above statement has a way of keeping me grounded in that optimism when the inevitable bad day strikes. And it’s true, any situation could always be worse.

But reflecting on this statement, I’ve realized it’s a very passive way of coping with things. I’ve viewed tough situations through this lens for years, so admitting there might be a better way of handling things when they arise is tough.

I realized that while saying it could always be worse made me feel better, it never really improved the situation I was faced with. I just eventually got through it.

The next time you find yourself in a place where you could use this statement, try asking yourself how could this be made better? I’m not saying it’s foolproof and will work every time, I’m still trying it out. But it’s active instead of passive, offense instead of defense. This statement goes right to the source of the problem and tries to find a solution.

You may find that it doesn’t work for you. Even so, well, it could always be worse.

Photo by Ryan McGuire of Gratisography