…..unhappy people spend more time thinking about life’s unpleasant events; they become introspective and self-centered in their thinking, and thus in their living. Happy people, on the other hand, take life’s events in stride. They have a positive worldview that allows room for disappointments and failures along the way. They seek out and depend upon facts that bolster their perspective on life; they are outward focused and centered on others…..When something disappointing happens to people with a positive perspective on life, they view it as an exception to the rule. For these people, the rule is that life is good – it’s a great adventure full of possibility and reward. So when a setback occurs, they view it as an exception that proves the rule: “See, the fact that this rare turndown has occurred proves that, the vast majority of the time, life is good…..
But when that same reversal happens to people with a negative perspective on life, they view it as confirming what they already believed: life is basically a disappointing experience, a string of defeats interrupted only by the rare glimpse of victory. They believe those events confirm that they are losers, destined to stub their toe with every step they take.
To put it another way, positive people don’t react to life; they respond. Responding is positive; reacting is negative.
(from Better Than Good: Choosing a Life You Can’t Wait To Live)