See The Positive
July 19, 2011
Every once in a while, someone will forward an e-mail to me that illustrates WHY an optimistic attitude is so important. Check this one out:
Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every 30 minutes.
We just missed a ferry and had to wait 30 minutes.
I went into a small gift shop to kill time.
In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor," by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Sunday, December 7th, 1941-- Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C.
He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.
When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet.
He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.
There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat -- you would have thought the attacking force had already won the war.
On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor.
Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked.
As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"
Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.
Admiral Nimitz said, "The attack force made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?"
Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying they made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"
Mistake number one: They attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every 10 crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk -- we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake number two: When they saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.
If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America.
And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill.
One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.
That's why I say they made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.
I've never forgotten what I read in that little book.
It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.
But anyway you look at it -- Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.
President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job.
In your career, are you able to see the positive within the negative situation? If something first appears as a negative, look again. The silver lining is in that cloud. Can you lead yourself out of a difficult period? Your greatest OPPORTUNITY always lies within your greatest CHALLENGE. Have an ability to see the positive within the negative situations, and you will have lots of success.