I've always remembered the idea though...and tried to apply it when I could--and when I remembered. It makes me feel better and gives me a different way of looking at things. For example, you already messed up your morning, are you going to have a ruined morning and a ruined day? A ruined week?
Sometimes it doesn't work though.
Sometimes trials are big enough that just thinking about them in "a different way" doesn't help so much.
Sometimes they're just too all encompassing. They do ruin your whole day, week, month and there's not much you can do about it.
Ironically, those are also the ones I'm thankful for. I wouldn't wish them on anyone and certainly not on myself or those that I love, but there is, believe it or not, an upside to them.
In the midst of an affliction so grievous that you feel like you'll be consumed, you do have a choice...maybe the Epicureans were right about this too. You can let yourself become bitter and depressed and hopeless. You can. (And no one will blame you really.)
Or, you can let it slowly and gently change you into a different, stronger and better person. Kinder, with more tolerance and with more empathy.
It doesn't happen overnight. I've found though, when I'm in the midst of something more than I can handle, there really are opportunities for silver linings. I pray more. I listen more. I go to the scriptures because I am searching for comfort, peace, understanding. All of those activities really do work at bringing light into your life. They live up to the hype.
It's a comfort to have a choice.
I can break or I can bend or I can stand strong and immovable (with admittedly, a little bit of wobbling along the way).
I collect quotes like some people collect pottery or stamps. The ones about adversity are fabulous, unless you're actually having a hard time then you want to tell the quote to shut up.
Here's one I like though:
I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.
(Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor so I think he knows a thing or two about what he's talking about.)