When Have You Made Good From A Bad Situation?

A bad situation can happen to anyone, no matter how smart, lucky, rich, or talented they happen to be. When one occurs, what do you do?

Having a setback happen to you, while unfortunate or unpleasant at the time, can ultimately lead to improvement. If, that is, you treat it in an appropriate way.

One skill that you can learn is how to think creatively within constraints. Let’s imagine you are forced to produce something with a diminished budget, or have to include on your team someone you don’t get along with, for example. How can you overcome these obstacles?

Another potential benefit streamline your project. If you can’t do everything that you would like, what can you cut and still have your core principles intact? This re-imagining may even result in a better finished product or experience.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’


If you have tried something and failed at it, that failure is actually an opportunity to learn what went wrong, or what might be improved on a subsequent attempt.

Or, at the very least, you can develop a thicker skin. There is a value to not letting difficulties derail you from your next project or opportunity.

All of these situations depend on a proper mental approach to struggle. You have to get up when knocked down.

Can you think of a time when you faced a bad situation, and made the most of it? Is there an instance — or instances — when a good outcome came from a dubious scenario?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? When is doubt helpful? What humbles you? How do you define success?

What Is Your Favorite Mistake?

Generally, we try not to make mistakes. You might regret your mistakes, or maybe you even manage to learn a lesson from making one.

But do you have a favorite mistake? One that you thought was terrible, but turned out to be beneficial? Or maybe one that provided you with such an opportunity to grow that it impacted your entire life?

What is your favorite mistake?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? What do you do that you shouldn’t? What is the value of inefficiency? How has luck shaped your life?

What Mistake Taught You The Most?

It can be argued that a mistake teaches you more than success does. We learn what not to do, as well as how to deal with adversity.

No one is perfect, and so for each and every one of us, errors are bound to happen. How we respond to our flubs and gaffes can be show us a lot about ourselves.

These mistakes can happen in any area of our lives, but no doubt some are more significant than others. Errors we make as children in school can be formative.

Similarly, learning from a screw-up on the job can ultimately make you a better co-worker or leader. And how you react when your let down your loved ones — and how they react to you in those instances — can inform your personality.

Can you think of a particular mistake that taught you the most? What lesson did you learn? Were you shaped by something that you got wrong — or your response to it?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? How do you define success? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned? What is uncomfortable but rewarding?

Is There A Benefit From Trying To Do The Impossible?

There are goals in life that range from the easy to the difficult to the impossible. Is there value in doing things in each?

For the easy tasks or goals, they certainly seem worthwhile. If you can accomplish a series of easy tasks and show incremental progress, they can add up to significant steps forward. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Similarly, difficult tasks occasionally need to be undertaken. And while they might be challenging, and might even lead to failure, when they are accomplished it can be very rewarding. In addition, attempting something that is difficult can offer us the opportunity to grow and reach our potential.

But what about the impossible? If we can never accomplish something, is there anything to be gained from the attempt? Is there a benefit from trying to do the impossible?

This also raises another question: how can we categorize a task that we are about to undertake? How can we tell if something is going to be easy or difficult? Or difficult versus impossible? Are we able to know, with any accuracy, what’s impossible and what’s not?

In addition, are there different levels of impossible? Where do we draw the line between noble and foolhardy, when it comes to the impossible? Achieving world peace seems impossible, but the attempt might be considered valuable. It is not possible, in contrast, for me to jump to the moon. Is it foolish of me to try?

Or another example: there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. The laws of thermodynamics prohibit it. Is there anything to be gained from trying to build one? Or is it a waste of time and effort that could be going to a better-chosen task?

Related questions: How do you define success? How do we know what we don’t know? What is the greatest problem facing humanity? Is understanding possible?

 

 

Where Is Society Failing?

There are some amazing things about our society. Unfortunately, there are also many ways that society is failing to provide for us, its citizens.

Listing the ways that we could be better might sound depressing. But ultimately, the first step to making improvements is to determine what needs to be improved.

With that in mind, what are the ways that our government, our companies, our institutions are letting us down? Where is society failing?

Related questions: What is the greatest problem facing humanity? When is it useful to fail? What is keeping us from sustaining the planet? How can we turn sadness into constructive action?