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“We are all faced with a series of opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”  – Charles Swindoll

Have you ever felt like you’re in an impossible situation? Now, that’s definitely not my favourite word to use to describe a challenge, but sometimes it does feel that way, doesn’t it?

Today’s short post is going to help you figure out how to be more positive, and find hidden opportunities!

I first came across this quote when one of my good friends gave me a stack of stickered positivity quote notecards when I left Canada for the UK. (My friends know me well!). It really stuck with me, because sometimes when you have too much going on in your life, it’s difficult to find that positive, happy self.

Ready to learn to be more positive?


How To Be More Positive


Positivity and Happiness research are two of the most interesting fields out there, in my opinion.  I find it fascinating that people study the science of happiness. In fact, one 2016 Harvard study showed that more optimistic people are healthier, and that there is evidence to suggest “higher optimism directly impacts our biological system”.

Here are a couple tips:

  • Negative Self Talk – Catch Yourself In The Act! –  I’m definitely guilty of this one, sometimes. Have you ever caught that little voice in your mind being super negative? Next time, force yourself to say the words aloud, and then really think about if you would say them to someone else.  Often, we’re just too hard on ourselves and treat ourselves worse than we treat others.




  • Visualize The Future –   Now, I say this one often, and I’ve had readers email me to ask  How do you visualize?  Well, to start off – keep it simple! Think about what would make you truly happy, and find a bunch of images that represent this.  You can look online, in magazines, or even draw the pictures yourself.  Make a collage, or vision board, and keep it somewhere you can see it every morning.  It doesn’t have to be complicated – you can simply have a picture collage as your phone background.


(Side note for all you teachers out there:  Have you seen the documentary Happy? I use it in many of my classes, and it makes for a stellar lesson plan idea).

How To Find The Hidden Opportunity 

I’m going to share two of my favourite techniques to find the hidden opportunities out there. Now, this part is simply based on personal experience, so I’m not sure what happiness research says about this – but it works for me!

The Power of Making Lists

First, I have to say that as much as I love technology, I also love post-it-note lists!   Yes, I know, it’s super old-school, but it works for me. Don’t worry, I back everything up on an electronic list and calendar, of course!

  • Grab post-it notes in your favourite colour
  • List out one thing you are grateful for every day of the week, and write it down.  At the end of the year, you’ll have 52 colourful reminders of why you should view life positively
  • You can also use post-its to list out steps to achieving your goal, or places you visualize yourself reaching


The Power of AskingMotivational Monday 65 Ask for Help

Now, I talked about this one in my post last week about asking for help. 

I’d like to re-cap it, though, because it’s worked for me so many times in the last few months.

For example:

As I mentioned last week, I was looking for someone to tutor me through the PhD process and guide me through a bit of statistical analysis review. I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to take on a PhD student as a tutee – too complicated, the teachers said!  Well, the answer was right in front of my nose – I’m working with someone I had assumed would be too busy, or not want the role.


Don’t assume! Just ask.


Another example:  Last year I attended the Online Teacher Summit, which is an amazing event that Paulino Brenner organizes, and I really wanted to be one of those excellent speakers they had.  Guess what? I simply asked, and now I’ll be presenting at both of Paulino’s summits this year!


Whether it’s help you need with a lesson plan, a life goal, a workout plan, or simply a task you don’t want to do alone, remember to ask! There may be a great opportunity hidden behind the difficult challenge.

Well, that’s today’s short and sweet post, but I’d love to know:

What do you do to find the hidden opportunities in impossible situations? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Have a lovely and productive Monday!


P.S. Photo fans, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took last fall on the coast of Croatia.

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