When life hands you a lemon, squeeze it and make lemonade.” – W. Clement Stone

In The Success Principles, one of my favorite authors, Jack Canfield describes a story of Captain Jerry Coffee who was a prisoner of war for 7 years:

For seven long years, Captain Jerry Coffee was beaten, malnourished and held in solitary confinement for years. This was the most powerful transformational experience of his life that he never wants to go through again, and yet, feels blessed that it happened. He would never trade that experience for anything.

Captain Jerry Coffee:

After his plane was shot down Vietnam he was captured and became a P.O.W. Instead of whining, complaining and fighting he made the choice to ask himself, “How can I use this experience to my advantage?”

He took this as an opportunity to get to know God and himself.  He turned what seems to be a tragedy into an opportunity to better himself.

Everyday all he had was his thoughts with the occasional torture tactics from the Vietcong. He spent hours upon days, upon years thinking about his life. Through this process, he began to see patterns that did not work in his life.

He began to analyze himself until he fully understood himself at the deepest of levels. In doing so, he developed a deep sense of compassion for himself and all of humanity.

What can you learn from Captain Jerry Coffee?

  • There is good to be found in every situation
  • “If you begin to think that everyone and everything shows up in your life for a reason, then you will begin to see every event – no matter how difficult or challenging – as a chance to become stronger and wiser.  You’ll find that every step in life can be a step close to your dreams”

How can you look for the best in every situation?

  • Ask yourself:
    • “What potential opportunity is this experience offering me?”
    • “What can I do to make this into a positive situation?”
  • Affirm to yourself:
    • “I believe the world is giving me the experiences I need to become the best I can be.”

This is not easy, it is a lot easier getting angry and having negative thoughts of destruction.  Save yourself from this emotional beat down and think about thinking!

I know all to well of the destruction of negative self-talk, hence this post for you!

What you need to do TODAY to Create New Opportunities:

  • Search for the best in every situation until it becomes habit
  • If you look for the positive, you will find, see and experience the positive
  • Remember that your mind does not like to be proven wrong.  It will search for whatever you believe
  • Ask yourself regularly:
    • “What could be beneficial about this event?”
    • “What opportunities are being offered from this event?”

What’s your next action step?

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