Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers ~ Garth Brooks
We’ve all been there at some point in our life. Everything seems to be moving along smoothly when something suddenly happens; a challenge, a barrier, a crisis. These events can range anywhere from being mildly inconvenient to downright terrible and sometimes devastating.
When situations like this arise, we all have ultimately one choice to make, that is how we choose to respond.
When you boil it down, that is really how our entire life unfolds. We are making a never ending series of choices about how we will interact with the events and circumstances surrounding us. Many of these choices occur unconsciously as part of our conditioned behaviour patterns.
Understanding that we always retain the power and the right to make a conscious choice about our reactions is where we can transform adversity and challenge into opportunity.
Consider the idea of personal perception.
Every person observes and interprets the world around them from a unique vantage point. I remember very clearly an incident about 5 years ago when I was having lunch on a restaurant patio with a few of my colleagues.
The patio was next to a very busy street. About 20 minutes into our meal, we were all startled by a large crash followed by an excitable YELP sound.
As I turned in my seat to take a look at what had happened we saw a new sports car t-boned by an older sedan. Fortunately, the collision had taken place at a relatively slow speed so there were no injuries, just two very upset drivers.
The YELP sound had come from a tow truck driver who had been parked literally across the street. He was so excited that an accident had occurred right in front of his truck, meaning he would be the first tow provider on the scene.
Talk about drastically opposing perspectives. The two unfortunate drivers were caught up in a very unpleasant experience while the tow truck owner had his latest gig fall right into his lap.
So what can we learn from that event?
What’s most interesting about this for me is that it illustrates that the world, and events around us simply exists, nothing more, nothing less. It is not until we apply our personal perception, coupled with all of our expectations and beliefs, that events take on a positive or negative slant.
Why is that important? Well, since we are creative by nature and are able to master how we think, we can choose to perceive any experience as we like. We can question our reality and actively seek out new meaning and the positives in life.
When something happens to us that initially appears to be negative, we have an opportunity to reject our habitual reaction and create a new, more empowering belief about that event and the possibilities around it.
Personally I have chosen to take this approach and made a habit of this type of thinking. Does that make me a Pollyanna No, life still challenges my serenity often, and to succeed in this way I must continue to develop this emotional capability every day.
It is worth it.
I am becoming someone who can cherish the tough times. When adversity strikes, I am often able to choose my attitude and remain focused on the opportunity and the gift rather than being consumed by the apparent misfortune. I then remind myself of Robert Collier’s quote,
In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage.
I dont know abut you but I find that idea exhilarating, exciting and empowering.
What about you?
How would your life change if you were able to transform a negative event into an opportunity or positive experience? What kind of results could you produce if you learned to embrace adversity and treat it a gift of growth?
Regardless of the nature of the challenge you are facing, you can decide to become the kind of person who embodies this philosophy. What could happen to your life if you did that? Well, I’d say without a doubt, at the very least you will produce incredible things in your life and bring a dose of inspiration to those around you!
Share your thougts?
How has adversity affected you? Do you have a story to tell about something good that came out of something bad?
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