Let’s resume our conversation.
Last time, I used an all-too-common example, a lost job. A lost job, no matter the why, is an opportunity for new enterprises — a new business, a trip, time off to spend with family and friends, continued education, and more. Training our minds to look at adverse or undesired situations in this way is the trick.
Well, here comes a bit of bad news–I cannot tell you how to do for you. Only you should train your brain. This makes sense. Think of how folks refer to cults and organizations, or even relationships that seem to rely on a sort of brainwashing to control the other person. No one says, “Sign me up for that. I do not want to be in control of my own mind”. This is really just a scenario where one person forfeits their power, for a plethora of reasons, and the power person then trains their brain for them, usually to their benefit. Pavlov’s Dog, plain and simple.
Difficult situations are going to happen despite intentions, preparations, or purity of heart. Knowing this is inevitable, we can be confident that on large and small scales, we will have ample opportunity to practice our brain training.
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win itMargaret Thatcher
When Disaster Strikes
It is healthy, and quite necessary, to grieve the loss or change that feels like loss. But it’s also important to take responsibility for every stage of our lives and take a proactive approach to every situation. Only then, can we find meaning in our lives and minimize uncertainty. Taking the responsibility with acknowledgement is where we hold on to the power to choose our next steps.
Luckily, the hard task of introspection is not the only way to find meaning in difficult times.
When hardships come, it’s easy to over-think the situation. However, focusing at least part of your time to giving to others helps putting life in perspective.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earthMuhammad Ali
When you give away your time and energy to help others, you create a connection with others. Life is no longer something that happens to you. Instead, it becomes a network, which you can influence in a positive way. When disasters strike, it is very easy to get wrapped up in fixing whatever you need to fix. When we hyper-focus on our selves, we forget about the connectivity we have with others. Service brings perspective.
Finally, difficulties are part of life. Trying to avoid them is not only futile, but it also prevents you from focusing your energy in purposeful, selfless work when appropriate. Therefore, if difficulties cannot be avoided, you should face them with patience and compassion to yourself and others, including strangers.
Every situation leaves a mark on you. That means something. It means you’re growing, building your own path of self-acceptance and compassion. You have the power to take control of your life by reflecting non-judgmentally, accepting each situation as an opportunity, and working with and for others.
Those who are happiest are those who do the most for othersBooker T. Washington