Too often we focus on what’s wrong with people, not what’s right. Our absence of heroic, virtuous individuals is a telltale sign of a culture that values perversity rather than morality. The reality shows featuring dysfunctional individuals is fast becoming the entertainment of choice.
What saddens me is that we are not acknowledging people who have been tested beyond anything most of us can imagine. I’ll never forget one man in particular who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. Two aids by his side, he sat in his wheelchair and smiled at me throughout my presentation. Afterwards his wife, who helped interpret for him, told me how happy he was to have attended my lecture and how blessed he felt to have his wife and others help him in his hour of need. Driving home, I had flashbacks of incidents in my life where I turned a hangnail or a traffic jam into a catastrophe. I know I’m not the only one that does this; otherwise, I wouldn’t be in business. What meeting this man taught me was that even in the most dire circumstances we can find “the bless in the mess”. It sounds rather esoteric, but there are many incidents that can be reframe into something that becomes easier to tolerate by making small mind shifts.
Our perceptions create our realty, and some of us seem to want to make a situation much worse than it is, because we’re hooked on drama. Consider the simple act of waiting in a line. It can be frustrating, but it really isn’t a death sentence. According to a study done at MIT, you’re going to spend three years of your life waiting in lines. Why make it feel like prison? You might want to consider the fact that while you’re waiting you are literally at rest. Nothing to do and no one around to make demands on you. Of course that means you have to stay off your cell phone. No one really needs to know you’re in line. They need a break to.
Life will consistently challenge you in many different ways. If you develop skills to handle the inevitable glitches, you will gain tremendous resiliency. The title of author Richard Carlson’s book says it best, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff” Words to live by!