“When people focus on what’s right in their life (for example, the car has a flat tire but it’s not total) it can lead to things being seen as opportunities,” he said .
This is not the same as positive thinking. Instead said Rick Hanson, a clinical psychologist and author of Resilient: How to Develop an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, is about seeing openings in life for change and transformation, even under difficult circumstances. Mr. Hanson said that while we often view opportunities as things that exist outside of us, like finding a new job or moving to another city, there are opportunities within us for growth and change too.
Justin E.H. BlacksmithFor example, a philosopher, historian, and professor at the University of Paris made subtle but important changes over the past year. Mr. Smith describes himself as an introvert with a tendency to lead a rigid life and do the same things the same way every day. The pandemic forced him to restructure his daily life and ease his rigidity.
“I am now aware of the contingency of these new routines,” he said, “and my ability to restructure them when they don’t fit.” Mr. Smith, 48, also admitted that he used to feel too old to try anything new. But the pandemic gave the professor permission to be a beginner again. “I was no longer shameful to be a beginner.”
After doing some research, he opened an online brokerage account. He also recorded guitar (and now plays every day) and decided to start a paid one in August Subscription newsletter on the digital publishing platform Substack, where he writes on the philosophical dimensions of culture, science and politics and the way they are changed (and warped) by technology.
Without the pandemic, Mr. Smith probably never would have thought about it, but for the first time in his professional life he thought about diversifying his income. “I think ahead at a precarious moment,” he said.