Sometimes when things just don’t seem to be going right, it can be worth trying to see the world differently. Some of life’s toughest moments can be the ones with the greatest potential for learning. I know in my own experience this has always been true, and the first key is to get out of the negative mindset and look at things with the fresh eyes of an impartial observer. I mentioned in a previous blog that we have some 60,000 thoughts a day, and by some estimates over 90% of them are negative in some way. Imagine the profound impact if we changed our perspective and made 90% of those thoughts positive! The practice of observing our thoughts and not falling into the same old patterns is not easy, and is in my opinion some serious spiritual sadhana in and of itself. Even setting small goals – say for example, for the next 3 hours, I will watch my thoughts as an impartial observer and choose to see the joy and happiness in everything – can bring about a profound shift.
I found a great blog posting yesterday by Stephen Hopson from 2006 (http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com) with a list of ways to look at life from a different perspective. Lots of great food for thought here, and I really resonated with most of these:
1. It’s not what happens to you but how you perceive it that determines how you will deal with the situation.
2. Behind every difficult person you meet, there’s a lesson to be learned.
3. Instead of saying, “Why is this happening to me, you say, “What can I learn from this?”
4. Trust that everything in life is temporary and that going through different cycles is part of the process. Translation: Life will get better if you just have enough faith to get through this one.
5. The power of visualization cannot be ignored – it actually works! Don’t say it doesn’t work until you’ve tried it in earnest. Have you truly visualized yourself having or doing something?
6. Without adversity or life’s challenges, we would never know what we are truly made of. It is through the toughest times we learn what we’re capable of doing; thereby becoming stronger and more confident in the process.
7. Everything you’ve experienced in life has been in preparation for what’s to come later in life. In fact, you are “life’s perpetual trainee.”
9. Learn to trust and pay attention to your intuition — those “AHA” moments — they are often right on the nose.
10. There are no accidents. Everyone you meet, everything that has come your way was not an some random fluke.
11. Plan on making a fool of yourself and not take life or yourself so seriously.
12. Go crazy and send handwritten thank you notes to those who have helped you. Gratitude and positive energy attracts success, abundance and more of what you’re thankful for.
13. Be patient – you will be rewarded justly. Don’t bother seeking revenge – it isn’t worth it.
14. Know that you are making a difference in small and large ways by just being who you are.
15. Refuse to compromise your integrity. People can see right through you and can detect whether you’re genuine or not. If you truly care about your customers, friends, family or business associates, they’ll stick with you through high and low because they know you care about them. In other words, they don’t care what you know until they know you care about them.
16. Refuse to compare your progress with others. It will only serve to destroy your confidence. Everyone is at different stages in their lives and if you understand that you’re right where you’re supposed to be, then it won’t matter what others are doing. You are unique with special qualities, talents, skills and thought processes, etc. There is no one like you so how can you compare yourself to others?
17. If you haven’t failed enough in life, you haven’t risked much. Life without taking adventurous risks is downright dangerous.
18. Understand that you do matter – there is a purpose to your life – find out what it is and use your gifts to make a difference.
So perhaps choose one or two of these that really struck a chord with you and see if you can change your perspective a little today. Remember, “Reality is perception. Perception is reality.” ~ Carl Rogers
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