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  • Writer's pictureJalal Ali

Staying positive no matter what…

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, and her husband Dave were in Mexico in 2015 to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday party. Sheryl took a nap and Dave went to work out. What followed was unthinkable. She walked into the gym to find him lying on the floor. He was dead! He died of cardiac arrhythmia.

There is no such thing as permanent in life, nor the life itself. One day, we’ll not have a job, a family member, and things that we cherished most. Everything in life is transient and every single human being faces adversity.

In the face of sadness, sorrow and adversity, staying positive and moving ahead in life may not be easy. Fortunately, we all know there is at least one proven way that can help us stay positive, no matter what.

Let’s continue with Sheryl’s story.

Sheryl had this overwhelming grief of losing her husband that she thought will never leave. One day she was having a conversation with her friend Adam Grant, a renowned psychologist. He suggested Sheryl think about how much worse things could have been.

“What could be worse than losing a life partner?”, she asked.

“Dave could have had that same cardiac arrhythmia while driving your children,” Adam replied.

The minute he said it, she felt overwhelming gratitude for what she still has. Her children are still alive and her husband was not driving their kids when he had a cardiac arrhythmia.

My wife recently tested positive for Covid-19. She felt depressed with her symptoms and her inability to look after kids. I asked her to think about what could've been worse than this.

She said, “I could have ended up in a hospital with shortness of breath.” All of a sudden, she felt betterappreciative that she didn’t experience severe symptoms and our kids are still healthy.

When life knocks you down, think about how much worse things could have been.

While it is virtually impossible not to think about recent loss or tragedy, it's important to also think about what you need to be grateful for.

“When life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, find the surface, and breathe again.”

—Sheryl Sandberg

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