Bad Day? 3 Ways to Shift Your Perspective

Hospitals are never fun.

And so spending the day in the emergency yesterday was tough. (I was with one of the special people in my life ~ and luckily nothing too serious and all okay now!) Add in the fact it was a downtown Toronto hospital, under construction, with no green space anywhere in sight, and it made it even that much more, um, less than stellar to say the least!

And, it also made me realize a few things about what really matters.

Sometimes life presents us with challenges, events, circumstances that are scary or hard to deal with.

Sometimes they are out of our control.

But how we show up, react, and deal… is very much in our control.

Instead of looking only at the negative, it helps to look for the learning, and to perhaps put things back into perspective.

While sitting in that overcrowded, overheated, overstimulating waiting area, I looked for the learning and couldn’t help but shift my perspective.

Here is what I realized:

Gratitude is Everything.

Although it wasn’t necessarily fun to spend the day (and for those in Toronto, it was a beautiful and sunny one!) in the hospital, it was fun to spend quality time with this special friend and person in my life. And seeing and hearing and somewhat experiencing some of the stories and traumas happening all around us, comparatively, we said numerous times to each other how lucky we were.

Choose to focus on all of the good stuff you have to be grateful for (and there will ALWAYS be something!), instead of choosing to only focus on the bad stuff. Gratitude breeds happiness. Every time.

People are paramount. 

It truly is the people around us and our relationships that make the world go around. Seeing some of the people there in the emergency, completely on their own, broke my heart.

Our work and our careers are important, yes – and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few moments of guilt throughout the day for not working, or for not having a more ‘productive’ day.  And yet if I really think about it, I had a very productive day, as I chose to focus on the people that matter most. Work will still be there, promise. Make your people a priority.

Little things become BIG things. 

When things are tough, or you’re feeling down, little things are actually BIG things. Smiles, gestures, and kind words go a LONG way.

On a normal day, I try to smile at everyone I pass by. And when I have any sort of  interaction with someone, I make sure I ask their name. And I have to say, smiles yesterday were felt and appreciated – both given and received – amongst everyone. And learning some of the nurses and admin staff’s names throughout the day came in handy. When asking how much longer before the next test, or getting the results, or if we could escape outside for a bit… well, being personal made a big difference.

We can’t always choose what happens to us in life, but we can choose how we show up, who we want to be, and what we’re going to do about it. 

Next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, a tough environment, or in a bit of a funk, do one of these things.

1.  Make a mental list of all you’re grateful for. 

2.  Reach out to someone important in your life. Let them know you appreciate them and why 

3. Take on a small gesture for another and watch the ripple effect.


There is power in shifting your perspective. And sometimes the smallest action truly can make the biggest difference.

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And now I’d love to hear from YOU. Think back on a recent sticky situation or challenge you were in. What worked for you? Share your comments below… you never know who you may touch or inspire with your story!

Have a FAB week!

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Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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