I have read many times that one should take the positives out of a situation and move on, but a few events in the past few days have brought that maxim into sharper focus for me.

Last Thursday I treated my good friend Shaz Nawaz┬áto a day out at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, to watch England play the West Indies at cricket in a one-day international. I had booked the corporate hospitality package and we were both really looking forward to the day. In the event, there were only two overs bowled, and we spent the day talking about our shared interests of cricket, public speaking and politics. We had a quite excellent meal, and I drank one of the best red wines I had tasted in a long time. It was this one, in case you’re interested!

Shaz and I both agreed at the end of the day that we had experienced an overwhelmingly positive day. I took my leave of him to go and see my partner in Birmingham as we were off to the South of France for a short break the next day, and Shaz drove back to be with his family in Peterborough. Not once did either of us utter a word of complaint about the fact that we hadn’t seen any cricket.

A few days later, after a lovely few days in Nice with my partner, I had a message from a close relative. Her psychologist thinks she may have bipolar disorder. I thought very carefully before I replied to her message, because I wanted to strike the right balance between sympathy and positivity. Here’s what I wrote: ‘Very sorry to hear this. You have to think as positively as you can though. Many people live full and active lives with bipolar disorder. Stephen Fry is one of them. Also your Uncle F has a good job and an active life’.

The reply came: ‘Thanks for being positive. Some people are saying ‘you poor thing, you must be so low’. In my mind it’s a positive step because now I know what’s wrong with me I can move forward’.

And isn’t that what it’s all about dear reader? Moving forward. Because standing still or going backwards is never an option. I remember seeing a speaker once who told his audience that we are either growing or dying, there is nothing in between.

What positives can you take from your day?