Is this the darkest era of our society, or a time of unlimited possibility? Is the US economy dying or merely "right-sizing"?
More than just simply labeling these viewpoints as "optimistic" or "pessimistic", it's important to notice that how we choose to look at situations changes our outcomes.
I'm reminded of the fable of the blind men and the elephant. A story originally from India, the core of the tale is of a group of blind men encountering an elephant for the first time.
Each blind man touches a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes on what they felt — "an elephant is a wall!" "no, no, an elephant is like a sharp spear!" – and learn they are in complete disagreement as to what an elephant is.
"Reality" and "truth" vary depending upon our perspective, meaning that what can seem like an absolute truth is actually quite subjective based on what data we choose to use to gather and create our hypothesis. Our beliefs in turn drive our actions.
Whether you are faced with diminishing resources within your organization, a lay-off, or a serious illness, is a door opening or closing? How you choose to look at and respond to the situation — as an opportunity to reorganize, reinvent, or reprioritize — is up to you.
As Emerson says, "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."
What perspective(s) will you choose today?
How does your perspective influence the actions you take?