In this week’s Parshah, Vayeishev, we read about Joseph. Despised by his brothers, sold into slavery and thrown into jail on false charges. An orphan, alone, in a foreign land. Yet you don’t get the feeling that Joseph was depressed or down at all. He seems positive, able to rise above and succeed in every situation.

How is Joseph able to stay positive? How can we be like Joseph and stay positive?

There are several approaches to take when knocked down with challenges. You can become a lifelong victim, adopting the “woe-is-me” mentality. This type of existence is a miserable one. Then there is the guy who can get up after being knocked down. Although this sounds admirable, it is very difficult and can be exhausting.

Then there is the “Joseph approach.” Joseph’s paradigm was the key to his positive outlook. Joseph saw himself as part of G‑d’s plan, and he saw every situation as part of the plan. When you perceive the world from this perspective, every so-called challenge, knockdown, etc., is nothing more than part of the plan. Seen that way, you are never knocked down to begin with.

Our perspective is the key to our happiness. When we see only ourselves, we are stuck with the difficulty of being knocked down, the pain, the hurt, the anguish and the suffering.

However, when we see everything as part of G‑d’s plan, every situation is seen as an opportunity. The crazier the situation, the more meaning can be found in it. Instead of being knocked down, you are uplifted.

It is not easy to get past ourselves, but by doing so, we can see things from Joseph's perspective. By seeing it all as part of G‑d’s plan, we can overcome life's challenges.

I have so much faith in our ability to be like Joseph, to always see our challenges to be purposeful, and to be able to lead with wisdom and grace. Yet we have too many challenges, and we have seen too much pain. It is time for G‑d to let us all know how well we have done, and to send Moshiach. May he come soon.