I am grateful for the gift of perspective, that any given circumstance can be read in different ways and that it is a matter of choice how you interpret it. This means for me that you get to create your world and it doesn’t have to be tragic or mediocre or average… William Shakespeare said “circumstances are neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so!” I am grateful that I get to control what I think and the meaning I ascribe to circumstances.
This for me is a totally amazing gift. Closely tied with the gift of choice. I am glad that when something happens to me, I am not limited by what literally happened, I have a choice to interpret it and use it either as a stepping stone, a stumbling block or a learning point. I am comforted by the people who have gone before me and taken the most difficult and absurd circumstances and turned them into something that empowered and strengthened them. Into something that made them more resilient, into something that made them win! When I think of Oprah, I think of a little girl repeatedly raped, sleeping on a porch, I think of her grandma, teaching how her wash clothes and be a good nanny when she grows up, and then I see her as she is today! Worlds apart from her beginning! It makes me think, that my own circumstances no matter how tough, cannot stop me. What stops me is the light in which I look at them.
I think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb, I think of 1150 failures (or thereabouts) and I remember that when the media made fun of him and asked what he had learnt from his many failures and he said they were not failures, he had learned a thousand ways not to make a lightbulb. When I think of that in light of failures that I’ve had, in business, in relationships, in weight loss (LOL), I get to choose, do I “fail forward” by learning from the so-called failures and knowing what not to do? Re-strategising? Learning from people who have gone before me and succeeded where I am trying to succeed? Or do I stick with the tag of a failure? It’s a matter of perspective and choice and I choose to see my circumstances as working in my favor. I have heard it said “there’s no failure, there’s only feedback”.
When I remember that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination! I actually find it astounding. Really? What type of imagination was that newspaper looking for? Look at Disney Land, Disney World, the Disney movies, how Walt has helped shaped culture… And so when I hear the “no’s”, the “you are not good enough’s”, the “not nows”, I try not to take them personally, I remember that the roadblocks are not there to stop you, if you are determined to get there. Roadblocks only stop those who didn’t want it badly enough!
Remember Steve Jobs? Fired from his own company and diagnosed with depression right after that? I could go on and on, and I have written a lot about perspective on this blog but truly, I think it makes the difference between whether our lives are beautiful, full and whether we become all that we were meant to be or not! When you see that people have gone through what you think will kill you or worse, and that they have succeeded in spite of it, then you realize that the problem is not the circumstance but how you choose to interpret them- your perspective!
I have chosen to believe that “all of creation is falling over itself to bless me”, so you know what? I interpret everything through that lens, so there’s mad traffic, it’s a chance to bond with my little one in the car, read that book or write another blog post… So I am out of work, it’s a chance to write more, read more, do more of the things I have always wanted to do and more importantly put my other gifts and entrepreneurial endeavors to the test. So that relationship is difficult now, what is there to learn about myself from it, how can I grow from this circumstance? I don’t like pain, it’s often very painful for me (LOL), but you know what I’ve found, it’s also my place of greatest learning. So sometimes when things are really tough and my heart feels like it’s totally wrenching, I tell myself “if I can just hunker down and get through this time, I know I’ll be fine!” And I’ve found that to be the case, that I not only survive, I thrive!
I am grateful for the gift of perspective, for the many traumas that have made me, me! For introspection, for life and its curve balls, my arms are strong, I have now learnt to throw them right back! Now tell me, how do you see your glass, half full, half empty or are you just thankful you have a glass? What do you tell yourself when things are tough and more importantly, what are you thankful for today?