It’s not easy these days and it can be a real struggle to find positive stuff to keep you going.
While we’re here – Ever noticed how some folks only focus on how bad things are? They do not raise a finger to make things better, but they will stand on the sidelines hoping that others fail so they can bark, “I told you so!”
Pointing out what’s wrong is easy… there’s lots to choose from. But what are we going to do about it? We can choose to label all the negative stuff as reality, refuse to explore the positive options and proclaim that the situation is hopeless.
Or … We can see the challenges, admit they are pulling us down, but also embrace the fact that we are not powerless. From that vantage point we focus on seeking solutions.
A positive outlook does not blind us to reality. It sharpens and clarifies our vision, enabling us to see more possibilities while recognising our power.
With a clearer vision and mind open to endless possibilities, what will you do to make things better?
Some years ago, as part of a bigger plan, I conducted a few training sessions at a company undergoing major change.
A few employees were not happy having to learn a whole lot of new stuff they believed to be unnecessary. They demonstrated their opposition by not attending the training.
Well, the new plans went ahead. Those who skipped the training found they could not function effectively under the new systems; they did not have the training. Some were later relived of their duties.
Most humans don’t like change, especially when we are forced to change. But we are not powerless, far from it. What we can do is choose how we respond to the change.
We can swear and complain, feel sorry for ourselves. Or we can research information about the change. If it’s inevitable, we can invest our energy in figuring out how to adapt and make the change work to our advantage.
We know things don’t always go our way, but there’s almost always something (even a little something) we can do to make things better.
In these deeply challenging times, we are brought face to face with the awareness of just how interconnected we are.
Everything we do has consequences…for ourselves and for those around us. Close and far away.
Because we don’t always see or may be unaware of the consequences, that doesn’t mean there are no knock-on effects.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
This awareness can be scary, because we soon realise that what we do and even what we say can cause serious harm to another person. It could be someone we have never met. In which case we may just shrug our shoulders. But the harm can also fall on someone we know, someone in the same house, someone close to our heart.
A time to remember that, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
We’ve been presented with a massive challenge.
We have also been provided with a number of simple strategies that can help us reduce the risk of being infected with this virus.
It calls for a lot of change. Change is easier to handle when we absorb it in small doses. But we’ve been thrust into widespread change on multiple levels at great speed.
We’ve been shown that each one of us is important in the effort to reduce the spread of this virus. Each one has personal responsibility. Small regular personal actions can protect us, our families and possibly the country.
We used to think, “I’m just one person. I can’t make much of a difference.”
We now see that every person can and will make a difference. Either a negative one by being irresponsible, or a positive one by acting responsibly and following some simple guidelines.
Appreciate your value – make a positive difference.
We tend to be so concerned with our own interests that we pay little or no attention to the interests of others. But people listen with more attention if they feel you have understood them. They tend to think that those who understand them are intelligent and sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to. Put in a nutshell: – if you want other people to appreciate your interests, begin by demonstrating that you appreciate theirs.
It also helps to acknowledge that the matters each of you are clinging to may be part of the overall problem you are both trying to resolve. Whether in politics, at the workplace or in the family, many issues become the source of major conflict because the time is not taken to listen to the other person’s point of view. You don’t have to agree, just listen.
The time it takes to listen now, can save a lot of time in conflict later.
Holding a grudge is like holding on to a piece of coal with the aim of throwing it at someone.
I heard that back in primary school. Didn’t really make much sense to me back then. However, as I got older it began to hit home.
Someone has done or said something to hurt us and we hold on to the hurt, we cling to it as if holding on to a rope as we dangle over the edge of a cliff.
This grudge, this hot lump of coal is burning the flesh off the palm of our hand as we wait for the person who hurt us to come into range so that we can throw it at them.
All this time the person has been getting on with their life. While we are agonising with this piece of hot coal. If the person did mean to hurt us, they have won twice. First from the initial incident and then the years of additional suffering we have inflicted on ourselves.
Don’t give them the satisfaction. Throw down that hot lump of coal.
Are you scared of your potential? Are you afraid that if you work towards being all you can be, you may not be able to handle the responsibility that will surely be part of the package?
If yes, you may be settling for much less than what is satisfying and meaningful. Some people accept the mediocre because they can’t pull together the sense of pride of purpose which would allow them to move beyond ordinary.
I can share with you that I felt that way some years ago. I got some help from a good friend who said, “Try to go beyond the simple need to fit in and appreciate your own uniqueness. Accept the fact that you can and do make a difference.”
He said, “If you conduct your life from the perspective that you can achieve almost anything you put your mind to. You will notice that mediocre is no longer good enough. You will be inspired to break from mere routine and explore the wealth of potential within you.”
That advice was of tremendous help back then and continues to push me forward today.