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In spite of / Because of

“My workout is getting better and wiser in spite of / because of my pain.”

“They are doing really well in sales this year in spite of / because of lack of resources before the merger.”

“I smile, joke and enjoy my time with my friends in spite of / because of what I might come home to.”

“She decided to help me in spite of / because of the effort it would require of her.”

Change one phrase for another, and the perspective changes. The reasons, motivations, excuses for (in)action shift in and out of focus. The places you come from look different – so do the places you’re going. The people in the sentences – including yourself – are seen in a different light.

This won’t work every time: the results will sound cheesy, fake, or too gloomy and fatalistic. Your job, when faced with a “despite,” is to figure out what would happen if “because” took its place – and vice versa.

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