Are you having problems coming to terms with hitting a rough patch in your life? This page is targeted at helping those who are finding themselves in a tough situation or have a huge obstacle to overcome. Learn from these stories of what people with long-term disability came to terms with their situation and actually coming out ahead. If they can, why can't you?


A man who worked one-on-one with over a thousand people on long-term disability over a period of many years, was impressed by a single theme repeated over and over by several of his clients.

All of them were working with him to either find a job or start a business. For the most part, they had encountered a serious illness or injury and could no longer perform in their old job, but they were not letting this stop them from finding something constructive to do.

The single theme that hundreds of them mentioned was this. While they would never wish upon themselves the disability or the pain and frustration that goes with it, they realized there was a "silver lining" to the experience.

For some, they knew they had been in a stressful job situation, and if the disability had not forced them out of it, something worse might have developed. Others realized they had been too focused on the job, and had not paid sufficient attention to their spouse and children.

Still others felt they had a greater spiritual capacity as a result of the disability, and had developed a better sense of values. Several felt they had a greater ability to appreciate others.

Some said they were learning for the first time how to graciously accept assistance from others, and could relate to people in a more meaningful way. A number of them sensed that it was time for their life to turn in a new direction, but they would never have done it, had they not been forced to.

Hearing this same basic theme repeated so many times, this man started to wonder whether perhaps it might apply to all of his clients. He began to carefully observe and make notes about all clients who were attempting to find a job. Special attention was paid to those instances where they experienced a setback, a rejection, a disappointing interview or lack of response.

He then tracked what happened subsequently, and the findings were surprising. In every instance he tracked, people who experienced one or more negative events wound up winning a job that was more suitable for them than the job they might have won, had it not been for the negative event!

In other words, had they not been rejected for some other job, or gotten no response to a job they were interested in, and if they had indeed gotten those job offers, then they would never have gotten the much better job they finally won.

In retrospect, they looked on those seemingly negative events as positive ones. At the time, they certainly seemed negative enough. These people were dejected after they happened.

But had they understood that these disappointments were necessary in order for something better to come along, they would have realized they were instead a cause for celebration. Indeed, with the benefit of hindsight, they were celebrating what they called "blessings disguised as negative events."

At first the man working with these people was greatly impressed and somewhat puzzled that this applied 100% to the cases he had studied. Then a friend pointed out something that solved the puzzle.

He worked with only a fraction of 1% of the total number of people on disability. All the people who got to deal with him were referred by insurance companies after thorough screening. For every person he worked with, there were dozens of others who would do nothing, and be content to remain on disability. He was dealing with the "natural winners."

His clients all had it in them to somehow get past the negatives, keep on searching despite the setbacks, and finally arrive at that happy place where all the disappointments, in retrospect, were seen as the positive events that they really were.

At this time while you are searching for a new position, you can adopt this same perspective and use it to good advantage. Whenever you come upon a disappointment, whether it is a bad interview, not hearing back after what you thought was a good interview, a letter telling you that someone else was chosen for a position you wanted, or virtually any negative event, remember the "Silver Lining" idea.

Rather than waiting until you are successful, immediately after any setback adopt the mindset that this happened because something better was waiting in the wings. Recognize right away that there truly is no cause for dejection. Understand that this needed to happen before you would be led to the ideal job offer. And remember, that is cause for celebration!

It might take a little effort to learn to react like this, but it's worth it. You won't lose any momentum by getting down in the doldrums for a few days. You'll find it easier to maintain positive expectations.

As you may know, job seekers who can maintain positive expectations generally are more successful at reaching their goals more quickly. It has something to do with what psychologists tell us is the tendency of people to treat us differently according to the kinds of expectations and attitudes we are projecting.

You'll also find it easier to keep a clear, strong vision in mind about your next job. You will enhance your ability to visualize yourself being warmly received, getting a good offer, and then performing well in the ideal environment.

It is well known, of course, not only among psychologists but also the general public, that visualization is an effective tool in sports and medicine.

We've all heard many examples of the athlete who visualizes himself or herself jumping over the high jump bar, swimming the fastest lap, kicking the winning field goal, or swishing the ball through the basket. These are commonplace.

Likewise, there have been many best sellers in the past 10 years, written by doctors who have witnessed remarkable recoveries and healings when there seemed to be no medical basis for the cure. In each case, though, there was strong belief on the part of the patient that they would get better, often accompanied by visualizations and affirmations.

Less well known, but equally significant, are the instances where this has worked in job changing. Many seasoned consultants in the field can recall dozens of instances where people changing jobs and careers successfully applied visualization and affirmations to help them win the job they wanted.

So why not adopt the "Silver Lining Perspective" right now, and enjoy the benefits it brings? You can immediately put to work for yourself greater momentum, positive expectations, and effective visualization. You'll have a more enjoyable and productive job search when you do.

And once you've learned to use the "Silver Lining Perspective" in job search, you may well find that you can apply it to other areas of your life, with equally impressive results.

You get stopped for a traffic ticket? Realize that if you hadn't, there might well have been an accident waiting for you a mile down the road. Relationship gone sour? Understand that it opens the door for the ideal person to enter you life.

Business deal fall through? Recognize that, for reasons you may not fully understand at the moment, it wasn't the right deal at the right time, and its falling through means you'll be open to an even better deal in the near future.

Illness prevent you from making a trip? Assume that some unexpected negative event which would have occurred on that trip, never got a chance to occur.

In fact, if it doesn't offend your religious beliefs, you might benefit a lot by imagining that there are some "guardian angels" assigned specifically to guiding and protecting you, who are orchestrating events down here on earth in just the precise manner that will enable you to come out on the best side every time, regardless of whether the event seems negative or positive at the moment.

If you can do that, chances are you'll live a more enjoyable life and reach your goals with less stress, whether those angels really exist or not.