The Glad Game

When I was a child I devoured books, and one of my favourites was ‘Pollyanna’ by E H Porter. The film version was on TV over Christmas, and a friend I was watching it with asked, ‘Liz, is this where you get your optimism from?’

I’m pretty sure it had some impact when I was 9 or 10. I learned early on in life that if you expect the worst, very often that’s what you’ll get. Expect something good to come from every situation and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As we start a new year, why not take a leaf out of Pollyanna’s book. Here’s an excerpt:

“You don’t seem ter see any trouble bein’ glad about everythin’,” retorted Nancy, choking a little over her remembrance of Pollyanna’s brave attempts to like the bare little attic room.

Pollyanna laughed softly.

“Well, that’s the game, you know, anyway.”


“Yes; the ‘just being glad’ game.”

“Whatever in the world are you talkin’ about?”

“Why, it’s a game. Father told it to me, and it’s lovely,” rejoined Pollyanna. “We’ve played it always, ever since I was a little, little girl. I told the Ladies’ Aid, and they played it–some of them.”

“What is it? I ain’t much on games, though.”

Pollyanna laughed again, but she sighed, too; and in the gathering twilight her face looked thin and wistful.

“Why, we began it on some crutches that came in a missionary barrel.”


“Yes. You see I’d wanted a doll, and father had written them so; but when the barrel came the lady wrote that there hadn’t any dolls come in, but the little crutches had. So she sent ’em along as they might come in handy for some child, sometime. And that’s when we began it.”

“Well, I must say I can’t see any game about that, about that,” declared Nancy, almost irritably.

“Oh, yes; the game was to just find something about everything to be glad about–no matter what ’twas,” rejoined Pollyanna, earnestly. “And we began right then–on the crutches.”

“Well, goodness me! I can’t see anythin’ ter be glad about–gettin’ a pair of crutches when you wanted a doll!”

Pollyanna clapped her hands.

“There is–there is,” she crowed. “But I couldn’t see it, either, Nancy, at first,” she added, with quick honesty. “Father had to tell it to me.”

“Well, then, suppose YOU tell ME,” almost snapped Nancy.

“Goosey! Why, just be glad because you don’t–NEED–‘EM!” exulted Pollyanna, triumphantly. “You see it’s just as easy–when you know how!”

So, here are some questions you might like to ponder:

  • What’s happening right now (this very second) that you can be glad about?
  • What is worrying you, and what is there in that situation that you can be glad about?
  • How can you use your experience to succeed?
  • When things go wrong, what will you do to refocus?

Want to read more? You can read Pollyanna online here

Enjoy playing ‘the glad game’! Let me know how you get on.

To find out more about us, contact Liz Kentish, The FM Coach on Tel: 01778 561326 / 07717 870777 or email:

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