“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it—and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” — Marcus Aurelius
Crisis? Or Opportunity?
Which will it be?
JFK said, “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters—one represents danger, the other represents opportunity.”
When something “bad” happens to you, you have one of two choices. You can say, “Man, this is BAD!” Or you could say, “Man, this looks bad right now, but maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from this…” or “How can I find the good in this?”
The only way to answer the last question is by changing how you interpret the event. And that raises these questions…
Can a person really change? Can you reinterpret and reframe your perception of an event? Can you change the emotions that accompany an unhealthy thought or pattern of behavior? If so, can the change be significant and permanent?
Yes. Because the changes that matter most are more often changes in your PERCEPTION than in the world around you. And you can change the way you perceive the world—in a heartbeat.
Not long ago, my father died, my marriage died, I lost my job and my home, and I went broke. I was a broken man. I suffered great emotional turmoil.
I thought my life was over. And I was right.
My OLD life was over. But then…a whole new life began. What I did not expect was that out of that rubble I could create a new life that would make me happier than ever. What I didn’t realize was that events like these really can be blessings in disguise.
Sometimes, when these kinds of things happen, adversity can surprise you and present you with a whole new way of looking at life.
Losing a loved one, your job and ending of a long-term relationship are unfortunate circumstances.
But the truth is: The way you process these events will contribute either positively or negatively to your emotional health.
Your reality is YOUR reaction to an event in your life and the meaning you attach to it. I love the way Albert Einstein said it: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
You can change how you think about, and how you react to, anything. Any event—good or bad.
Make a choice right now to change your perception of a crisis into an opportunity to grow, to get a different perspective, to believe new things, to look at life in a different way.
Transform your thinking.
Turn a negative into a positive.
Put your emotions to a positive use.
Make something good out of it.
“Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some kind. You must let go of old ways in order to experience new things. We fear these losses—even if our old ways were self-defeating.” — Rick Warren
Loss and grief are natural realities, and we will all experience these things at some point in our lives. They are part of the pain of being human. They serve their purpose—for a season. But if we’re ever going to get emotionally healthy, we cannot dwell on them. We have to move on…
We must learn to reinterpret and reframe the events that stir us up for no good reason. They are not worth remembering. And we musn’t waste any more of our time on them.
“The trick is what you emphasize. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castaneda
I choose to be strong!
How about you?