2020 has given us many obstacles saturated with life lessons; however, for the most part, most of us question ‘why me’ instead of asking ‘why not me’. The truth is, we all require a much-needed attitude adjustment every now and then. We tend to feel as if our problems are an isolated incident or personal attack—as if the rain cloud is only ever over our head. It is easy to disregard our own negative tendencies when our plates are overflowing, life is hectic, and time seems to be on the decline instead of the rise. Life happens to all of us—there is no escaping that.
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
— Stephen Covey
We all have had not so great things happen to us; granted, some have endured more than others, but this does not, in any way, diminish the pain, stress or degree of the incident. We have been raised to remember that ‘there is always someone going through worse than you’, and because of this, we like to rate every situation on a scale, and if we deem it more significant than our own, we feel guilty. However, if we believe our situation is worse, we feel like no one can possibly understand what we are going through. STOP.
Every day in life we are surrounded by a wide range of personalities; some of the people we come into to contact with have a positive energy that escapes from them and are a joy to be with. Unfortunately, others have the opposite effect and drain us of our energy, making us feel tired and emotionally exhausted. Who we are and what we can become can be easily influenced by those around us; only you have the power to ensure that your well being comes first because guaranteed that person is putting themselves before anyone else. We seem to think that it is wrong to put ourselves first, but it is not wrong. Energy can be like a tick jumping from person to person draining us of our very being. I am sure you have been in a situation where being around certain people always had the tendency to alter your personality. If someone is disrupting your peace, your energy and ultimately your life, it is not wrong to put yourself first and cut them off.
Our energy is everything, and the mind is a powerful tool that we have been blessed with. If you are anything like me, then you would know how draining it is to hold onto people in hopes of seeing a change, regardless of the negative energy they bring with them. I know that I have the tendency to hold onto people; I hope that I will see a change, and even when I don’t I still hang around waiting for the miracle—this is soul-destroying. Energy is a magnet; in my opinion, it is no different than the popular saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’; you will attract to you what you put out into the world.
Some people look at the rain as a bad thing for various reasons, while others consider it a blessing; it provides water to bathe, drink and nourish our bodies, and it also allows foods to grow. I am sure if we tried, we could find something negative in everything, but why not adjust our focus and attitude. When things go wrong we find every and any excuse to blame it on something or someone else; we are running late, instead of owning up to the fact that we could/should have left earlier, we blame it on the pedestrian crossing street, the necessary roadworks, the parents taking their kids to school and so on. At some point, we have to understand that our life is a direct reflection of our actions, which are a result of our thoughts/mind.
The energy that is spent trying to figure out ‘why me’ could be used in a more positive manner. Your ordeals could be a part of your purpose in life, but you have to be willing to make the necessary changes and carry out a much-needed attitude adjustment. Life happens to all of us; it is not selective or bias—it just happens; how we respond to life is what is important. The same rain falls on us all; showers of blessing, showers of pain, and showers of change and opportunity. It is not about the rain; it is about how we weather the rain that determines our life.
We are who we are because of the trying times, and it is not always a negative thing. More often than not, these challenges take place to increase our strength, to move us onto the next adventure; sometimes, we endure trying times to be a beacon of hope to others. There are thousands of people that we look up to because of their wisdom and the legacy they left behind for us to learn from, what if our story was supposed to reach one person and provide encouragement? We cannot control our time on earth; when our time is up, there is no option to restart the game; we each get one life—one attempt.
Unfortunately, sometimes we are oblivious to the power of our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious; no one is, nor will ever be perfect—we can all make an attitude adjustment. The not-so-good moments of life happen for a reason; sometimes, the reason is not always recognised immediately, but that is no reason to dive head first into negative thoughts. These unhealthy thoughts and behaviours are not making a positive addition to our lives. I am sure you notice when constant bad things happen, and you wonder why this is the case, right? The next time you find yourself in a downward spiral, take a step back and evaluate your thoughts and behaviours during this spiral. Do you see a pattern, a change that can be made, a different reaction or thought? When you notice the pattern, you need to adjust. We can all make excuses and pass the blame, but that will not resolve the issue at hand. Try shifting your focus onto something positive, press the pause button on what is not going right and come back to it with a clear mind. Here is what I have learned and some possible tips.
- Build a circle and surround yourself with people that can help you get back onto a positive track.
Sometimes sharing the load of your burden with a friend can help you see how you can carry it yourself in a healthy way.
- Not every battle needs to be fought; not everything that appears negative is actually a negative.
We have the potential to be great, and sometimes it truly is ourselves that is holding us back. For me, I am going to start by releasing the negative emotions that I feel are clouding my mind and blocking my blessings and potential.
- We only have control over ourselves.
Although I know this, I still carry negative feelings over things and people I cannot control. I tend to dim my personality and emotions for others ensuring they are comfortable, which leaves me feeling cheated because I am putting myself last.
- Practice and live with integrity.
According to the dictionary, integrity means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”. In lamens terms, I suppose we can say it is about being true to your morals and what you believe in, coupled with being truthful. It is about how you treat and speak to others, the level of respect you exhibit to others.
Life is about trial and error—we will not get everything right the first time, and that is okay. We all require a little calibration after going a few miles in life. Pay attention to your mileage and ensure that you carry out a personal service and calibration every now and then. Remember, there is always room for growth; even when you think everything is running smoothly, there will always be a sign indicating it is time for an attitude adjustment. Everyone has a burden to carry, but what matters is how you carry it.