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This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.

I'D DONE A LOT OF WALKING in the last two days and my feet hurt. Of course, I didn’t like it. It’s obviously a sign I’m getting old. It’s a bad thing. “But maybe it’s good,” I said to myself, “in fact, maybe it’s perfect. Maybe it’s strengthening the bones in my feet and when I’m old I’ll be able to walk a lot longer.”

I don’t know how it’ll turn out. But since sore feet cause pain, I was automatically against it. But if I knew the pain was doing something good, I would feel different about it. It wouldn’t be so bad.

We don’t know what the future holds. It is always a possibility that the thing you hate so much right now is something you’ll be happy for later. You don’t know. Therefore it is counterproductive to ever pass a negative judgment on anything that happens to you.

It’s counterproductive for several reasons: First of all, you don’t really know if it will turn out in your favor, so passing a negative judgment is putting confidence in an improvable and possibly false guess. And that, of course, is not straight thinking.

Second, it puts you in a bad mood to pass a negative judgment like that and bad moods are bad for your health, bad for your relationships, and no fun.

Third, according to research at Cornell University, our minds find it easier to confirm a judgment than to disconfirm it. When you conclude something is bad, your judgment will alter the way you perceive your life in a way that confirms your conclusion.

The good news is, when you judge something as good, your mind works to confirm that judgment also. When you decide “maybe this is something good in disguise,” you release the creativity in your brain to find ways it’s good — not only thinking of new ways to look at the situation, but thinking of ideas you can put into action that will make lemonade out of this lemon. When you conclude it’s bad, you slam the door on those ways, and they become unavailable to you.

When something happens — anything — before you pass judgment, consider this: It may be good.

No matter what happens, assume it’s good.

This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.

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Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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