When you face a challenge in life, you more often than not have the choice as to how to react. You can stand in awe, crumble in futility or rise to the occasion. In my experience, life’s difficulties are better met with gusto than distaste.
Every difficulty successfully met tends to produce: 1) some new element of understanding, 2) a new reserve of character and/or 3) an aperture into a new level of consciousness. Even failures reward you with a measure of personal growth. The nature of the circumstances is irrelevant; the way you carry yourself in them is paramount.
Most people are so busy reacting to their circumstances that they overlook the lessons to be learned as they pass through them. I’ve found, for instance, that crisis situations teach you a lot about the people around you. Crises throw into relief a man’s strengths and weaknesses and if you are concerned as I am to uplift all that you touch, such information is invaluable.
Your reactions are more a matter of habit than a foregone conclusion. They can be shaped over time, so if you don’t like how you tend to react to challenging situations, know that you can change your approach. It may take time and you will likely progress by fits and starts, but don’t give up…it can be done.
The first step to making such changes is to be honest with yourself about the way you acted or are acting. Ask yourself: “Which feelings am I giving the most weight to?” and then “Which constructive feelings could use more of my conscious attention?” Once you’ve made this determination, give it your best shot. Take new ground and don’t look back.
The second step is to hold fast that which you’ve gained in the process. Don’t squander your victories. And if you do waste them through petty reaction, absentmindedness or some other foolish splurge, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, pick yourself up, wipe yourself off and move quickly in the new direction you’ve set for yourself after reading this post.
And don’t forget to share your experience with this process in a comment or an email! I’d love to hear about it.