Sunday, December 9, 2012

Opportunities in Calamities: How to Turn Bad Into Good

Experience (Photo credit: djniks)
by Julia Katsivo

Life can't be all gravy or we'd have no character. Character is derived from the things you've been through - every single experience shapes you.

After a while, you depend on things you know work in given situations. The problem with this approach is that it's too easy and doesn't take growth into consideration. It allows you to auto-pilot your reaction and fall into a system you are most comfortable with.

This does not allow a full use of your experiences, does nothing to round you off, and very little in opening up new opportunities and paths to follow.

Attitude is everything and yet even this is controlled in as far as your interest in self-preservation. Soon, attitude becomes a defensive trait, and this won't work for you. It's hard to hear and accept relayed information because you learn to process it as a personal attack.

Your attitude assumes that the world is against you, and you are alone - better yet, that the world is talking about you. That is not true. People are out there doing their thing, and if they are constantly on your case, it's because you let them - that's a choice you made for yourself.

A poor attitude carries itself in bad news as further proof of how alone you are. Things always happen to you despite what you try. That's not true either. Things happen to everybody all the time.

You can't always have things your way, but you can determine what you do with what you're given, there's a difference. Your way can't be the stagnant approaches you've employed over time - you are not the same person you were yesterday, even if adding more or less salt to your food is the difference.

You are different. You may have the same view on a given topic, but even that has either been reinforced or waned a little.

The next time you receive bad news, which in your experience will be very soon (tongue-in-cheek), listen to your response and watch your reaction. Ask yourself if this technique which will serve its purpose now will work toward your betterment. Challenge yourself to rise above the occasion and remember to utilize a property called perspective.

For example, if you once didn't know what you were going to eat, you are still here, so you must have eaten something at some time. What is great and troubling today will appear as a small stone in light of a mountain you may face tomorrow. Whatever the situation, and especially those that are out of your control, what you choose to do with it is entirely up to you.

You can start a new path simply by re-shaping your thoughts, one hurdle at a time. This will not happen overnight, and the truth is, can only happen in light of lived examples, so the more the experiences, the greater the capacity and opportunity to grow and expand outside your little shell. The willpower is there - you just have to tap into it to turn it on, and like a muscle, exercise it to make it strong.

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