It is easy to get down or even depressed with the focus on negatives in the news and in conversation. We in security do the same thing, talking a lot about the threats and dangers. I have found that concentrating on so many negative things can really impact my mood so I go through an exercise in the evening where I think about the positive things that happened.
Have you heard the story of the man with a hole in his pocket? Most of you are probably thinking of someone who lost something valuable due to a hole in his pocket. There are many stories like that. The Bible, in Haggai 1:6 speaks to this as well. “Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!” (NLT) However, the pocket story I am thinking of is quite different. It was told to me in F.W Boreham’s book “The Crystal Pointers”, where he says,
I understand that, over at the Other End of Nowhere, there is a jolly old soul who is moved, not to tears but to laughter, by the hole in his pocket… If this old gentleman hears some spicy morsel of scandal, he makes a note of it, and slips the note in his pocket – the pocket with the hole in it! They say that he is very clever at pocketing insults and affronts: he pockets them, but they do not seem to add to his load. The secret is that the puts them all in the pocket that has the hole in it. The pleasant things go in the opposite pocket, and he examines it every morning to make sure that there is no hole there. And every night, when he retires to rest, he empties the pocket that is so full and chuckles over all the treasure that he finds there; and he puts his hand in to the pocket that has the hole in it and laughs at finding it always empty! Nobody seems to know which of his two wonderful pockets affords his the greater flee.
This man is very wise. He knows what needs to be forgotten and what should be treasured. It is important to learn from mistakes and to heed the constructive criticism of others but dwelling entirely on the negative can lead to depression or apathy towards the positive things in life. In security, this means that the battle is not over. Don’t get down over all of the negatives but do heed their advice. Rather, keep focused on what you are doing well and how you can keep improving. This will keep you moving forward and moving in the right direction.