Vail Daily column: Looking for the good and creating joy |

Vail Daily column: Looking for the good and creating joy

The past five weeks have been extremely busy for me and have included several flights and two cross-country road trips. Albeit I managed to sneak in a vacation at the beach, I was unable to heed my own advice and completely disconnect from work to revel in the sun and sand.

However, I will say this — as crazy as the business trips and vacation have been, they have also been exceedingly productive and energizing. They have helped me to focus on the positive things in my life.


Finding joy begins with each one of us looking for the good instead of the bad. How about you? Could you stand to spend a little more time finding the good in your life?

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You see part of the problem many people have is that sometimes, even when they are on vacation, they quickly become frustrated and angry with situations and people around them. They look for the bad instead of the good.

You know what I mean, right? You’re in line for an attraction or dinner and someone jumps the line ahead of you. Yes, this situation can be completely maddening, but only if we allow it to be.

What if we just allow ourselves to think positively in these kinds of situation? What if we simply think “Well, maybe they have some important reason that it is urgent that they go first.” Or maybe, in the case of the restaurant, “They will not get the best service from the person waiting on them due to their pushiness, and we will.”


My old boss, mentor and great friend Zig Ziglar used to remind us that, “Some people go around looking for the bad like there was some kind of reward for it.” And if we look for the bad, it sure is easy to find. However, I am here to remind you, as Zig always reminded me, that it is just as easy, and maybe even easier, to look for and find the good in people, situations and in life.

I know, I know, how could that even be possible when so many things seem to stack up against us at times? Money problems, work-related issues, health crisis and broken or damaged relationships take up residence in our lives when we least expect them, and we would certainly rather be looking at a brighter picture. And we can look for that brighter picture through the lens of hope.


Even in the face of these very issues that hurt us, frustrate us or limit us, we can look for that silver lining and absolutely look for the good.

When we have money problems we are forced to rethink our current strategy and plan. I know many people who have dealt with bankruptcy only to find their passion and start their own successful business. There are countless stories of people with work-related challenges, who always used to blame the company or others for the problems, who then found out that they could contribute at a higher level personally and took ownership of improving the current office environment.

And most inspiring are those people who face health issues and rise up to either help others in the same situation or not allow their debilitation to limit their performance. They search out what is good and what can be done to improve their situation and get after it.


The emails I have received from our community over these past five-plus years include incredible stories of people who felt brokenhearted until they realized that relationships that were intended to be mended were, and those relationships that needed to end ended. They were never happier than they were once they sought out the good in themselves and became less reliant on others for true happiness.

Have you ever been on the highway and another driver was swerving in and out of traffic, almost causing an accident and the whole experience left you absolutely troubled? What if for one minute we stopped and thought that maybe they have a medical emergency and are trying to get to the hospital? Now that occurs in about 2 percent of all rude driver behavior instances, but it could happen, and if we looked for the good instead of getting angered and upset, we could easily continue on our very merry way.

Finding joy begins with each one of us looking for the good instead of the bad. How about you? Could you stand to spend a little more time finding the good in your life? If so, I would love to hear all about it at, and as we collectively look for the good, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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