The Other Side of the Coin

by Michael Lundblad

Take a quarter. Flip it over. Is it heads or tails? Heads you look forward. Tails you look back. But don’t flip it up. Put it in your pocket and think about it.

It might be tempting to flip it up to see if you’ll be alive in five years—regardless of what the statistics might say. But consider what it would mean to just keep it in your hand, heads up—to think positively about your situation.

Thinking positively doesn’t necessarily mean being happy all the time or putting on a brave face. It means turning the statistics around. Why can’t you be one of those who lives beyond expectations? Your five-year survival rate is not zero. That means some people survive. Some people survive for decades. Why not you?

Heads up, in this way, is not denial. You are aware of the reality that you might not make it. But you don’t know how long you have (no one in the world does). So you have a choice. You can choose to keep living, to focus on the things that fulfill you—the people, passions, and perspectives that bring meaning to your life. Or you can put your tail between your legs and keep looking backward.

Heads, go meta. Tails, go back to sleep. Don’t leave the decision to chance. There’s a chance you won’t make it. But there’s always the other side of the coin.