"If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." Abraham Lincoln
The same could be said for the good. Our thoughts and expectations can be more powerful than we realize. It's not merely positive thinking. When we genuinely look for the good in each situation, even if we need to stretch a bit, we will feel the benefit of that effort. Gradually those around us will begin to feel the effects as well.
I still remember taking the first course in Education for Life through the online training program. The instructor gave us our homework assignment the first week: look for the light. We were to look for moment of lightness and childlikeness, moments of natural excitement, enthusiasm and joy in our classrooms.
At the time I had this one rather exuberant little girl in one of my yoga classes who always seemed to be doing something other than what we were doing - upside down when we were right side up. Standing when we were laying down. Lying on the floor when we were moving around. Dancing or singing through the whole class. I laugh now at my reaction then. Initially I was annoyed and looking for a way for her to join the group more. Then, once I started this assignment, I began to see her behavior in a whole new way. She wasn't misbehaving or annoying. Her behavior was just energy and there was a natural joy and enthusiasm behind it. When I started to follow her lead a bit, the whole class took on a more joyful and light energy.
That one simple technique of looking for the light has allowed me to become more curious and open to learning from whatever is unfolding, whether in the classroom or in life, rather than trying to control the outcome. Light and energy seem to have their own way of unfolding and leading us just where we need to go.