I have many conversations with individuals on a daily basis and one of the common themes I encounter is the thought that, if I was in a different place, I wouldn’t have any of these problems.’ You may not have those exact same problems but you will continue to face challenges whatever your situation may be. Whether you see it now or not, challenges in life are the things that make us grow. Challenges will differ from pasture to pasture but will be there none the less.
The grass ALWAYS appears greener!
As much as your situation may seem tough and difficult, looking at the lives and situations of others will always be the quickest way of getting a trip the doc’s office and being prescribed some Prozac! As much as we may see the situation of another as cosy and something that we may desire, the reality is always different. I remember on countless occasions seeing someone and really desiring everything that the person had. But then I got to know them well and I realised that all was not as cosy as it seemed!
EVERYONE faces challenges. (Notice I call them challenges and not problems.) The word ‘problem’ always invokes a feeling of depression, a feeling of loneliness, a feeling of anxiety. The word ‘challenge’ invokes a very different feeling. It invokes a feeling of intense drive, a feeling of excitement, a feeling that a personal triumph is to come at the end of the challenge. Three different people have recently said almost the exact same thing to me, it was along the lines of, ‘My life seems to be standing still, everyone else around me is moving forward; they’re achieving so much and doing something exciting. I have nothing going for me.’
Making The Shift
First and foremost; you are amazing! Whatever may be going on in your life right now, as difficult as it may seem, as depressed as you maybe as tough things appear to be, let me tell you that appearances are very deceiving. The reason that appearances are deceptive is because appearances are based on perception and perceptions can be altered very easily. The first perception to change is problems into challenges. If you can find some way to change your perception of you current situation you will have found the secret to solving it. A solid question is the best way to go. Find a way of approaching the problem from a different angel, sorry, that was supposed to be angle, and the way is through the questions you ask yourself. If you ask yourself these questions, the inevitable result will be depression. Questions like:
1. Why is this happening to me?
2. Why do I always feel like this?
3. Why am I the only one that seems to feel like this?
Can you see the pattern there and what the resulting feelings and attitudes will be?
Focus your questions from a different angle:
1. What can I do to turn this around?
2. How can I help others in the same situation?
3. How has this served me?
Notice the pattern of feeling that these questions aim to create?
I know how tough it is, I too am facing many similar challenges on a daily basis, the only difference being the way I perceive the challenges ahead of me. Just today, I went to the hospital, I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the way the doctors are trained, but every time I go to the hospital, I end up coming out depressed and today was no exception. The doc almost brought me to tears with the news he gave me and yet as soon as I left the hospital and got back to the car, I felt great! It’s only because the focus on the physical problem that I fell into that state of depression, as soon as I changed my focus I felt my usual ecstatic, happy self! That’s the difference; I have now created the habit of changing my focus to the angle that I choose. It is that which is the secret of being happier, healthier and being able to direct my life the way that I choose.
Change does not occur overnight but there must be conscious change. The way to that is to set reminders for yourself. Just as you set an alarm clock to wake up, set reminders around the house for the path you wish to take. Leave post it notes on your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, in your diary, or wherever else you think they would benefit you. Surround yourself with people that have similar goals to you. Immerse yourself in books that encourage positive change. There are so many resources on the internet that are free. Get some audio books that you can listen to in the background while doing your day to day activities. Stick them on your MP3 players and listen to them throughout the day.
Most importantly, stick with me kids and you’ll go far! 😎