Recently I was at a dinner which turned into a one-up discussion on steroids. We have all been at one of these meetings where folks are comparing and competing for the best “fish story” of the evening. What was amazing to me was this: they were not trumping each other with positive achievements or the “outdoing of the Joneses” – they were trolling on about their lamentations, ills, and 12-miles-in-the-snow-with-no-shoes stories. It was simply startling, as all of these individuals were successful and were incredibly fortunate in most aspects of their lives. Yet, incredulously, they were competing for the saddest most downtrodden story around the table.
Another scenario: our family’s dear friend and former pastor and I were visiting the other night at my dad’s 85th birthday soiree. This man is real and authentic, and has touched thousands of lives with his gifts and wisdom. In our discussion, I was boasting about my mom and her resiliency (at 83) of having hip surgery with no general anesthesia (just a spinal!) to avoid the ‘brain kill’ that can happen. My mom simply does not believe in ‘complaining’ and is my role model in life – particularly when it comes to handling adversity. Our friend said: You know Kristin, “the reality is EVERYBODY’s got something.” And of course, he is absolutely right. My mom’s mantra has always been: “Everybody has their own ‘sack of rocks’; it is all in how you carry them.” What an ironic comparison.
Yet, let’s face it; there are times when our load seems heavier than everyone else’s! Divorce, lost jobs, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, political strife at work, larger quotas than anyone else, financial ruin (or potential ruin), lack of new business, disappointing service from our service people; the list is as endless as it is varied.
So what are a few tips we can each integrate to rise above the fray of complaints and enjoying the problems we face in life? And, yes, no question these are basic in nature…yet, frankly, the most potent, powerful actions ARE basic.
Tip 1: Find at least 1 thing for which to be grateful every single day. Write it down. This could be the sunrise, the unconditional love from your puppy, or the new valuation of your company’s worth! It simply does not matter the magnitude of what it is…just simply that it IS. By calling it out, we reflect it…which makes it double and multiply its value.
Tip 2: Ask myself, what am I supposed to be learning – or teaching – through this experience? I believe this wholeheartedly: nothing – NOTHING – happens to us without a reason. We are either to take stock in the lesson and/or we are to be teaching others through our response to it.
Tip 3: What we think about will be what we create in our lives. As I have mentioned in my first book, we are ultimately what we think…our thoughts undoubtedly become things. Many books and individuals – from James Allen (As A Man Thinketh – one of my mother’s favorite books) to Bob Proctor to the Bible in Proverbs 23:7 will attest this truism. So – we must start there and keep the positive, affirming, faithful thought.
Believe me, we have all been privy to hosting our own pity parties. Me at the top of the list, I am sure! Yet, we have a choice every day to change our thoughts and the way we approach the daily happenings in life AND business. Whatever they are. Everybody’s got something…no one is above this human condition with all its glory AND challenge. Repeating these challenges or difficulties – AND making them dinner banter – only makes them magnify and grow in our minds.
How can we re-frame our perspective? What tips do you have to offer us and our readers to help us keep the positive thought when life deals us a curve ball? Please share – we want to know your thoughts!!