Practical Tip #417: don’t avoid the negatives

Patrick Jager
Mar 28, 2016 · 2 min read

Life is a series of “oh s**t” moments separated by times of relative calm.

That’s what I’ve experienced, anyway.

When you hear someone say “oh s**t”, most people automatically say in response: “What’s wrong?” or “What happened?” Have you ever heard someone say “What’s right?” The problem with the above isn’t the “o.s.” moment, but asking the question “what’s wrong” in the first place.

I tell my son all the time that in many aspects one grows more from learning what not to do (and the ramifications of actions) than they do when things go easily. Many “o.s.” moments are not about something being wrong, but rather that something seemingly negative happened that makes you have to rethink and change course.

My tip to you today: Don’t avoid the negative!

Do you think that the great masters in any field avoided the “oh s**t” moments? Did they settle back and say “I don’t want to get hurt so I’ll stay safe and just do as I’ve done and not screw up”? The answer is a resounding “no”. The greater the risk, the greater the reward, and the greater the “o.s.” you might experience. But moments where fear, frustration, and issues occur are the samemoments where great opportunity is created.

Leaders rebound, review and renew themselves through adversity.

I do not seek out the “oh s**t” in life, but I do not run from it either. I can truly say that where I am today, doing what I am doing, came about through some negatives that forced me to change. In the middle of an “o.s.” it’s hard to remember that change does happen. We fixate on what is (at times) overwhelming. But on days like today when the sun is out and I’m confident in my abilities I remember: every time I pick myself up (rebound), evaluate how I got to that “o.s.” place (review), and start again (or take lessons learned and apply them to the next situation: renew) I gain. And these renewals help me focus what I do, who I work with, and what I look to accomplish.

Adversity = change = new opportunity.

Learn from everything you do each and every day. Let the response to your next “oh s**t” from other’s be: “what amazing thing did you just learn and how are you growing?”


Patrick Jager is the CEO of CORE Innovation Group — a multi-disciplinary strategy and project implementation firm focused on media, communications and business development.

Patrick Jager

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