Law #8 – Maintaining a winning perspective
Chapter 9 of T. J. Hoisintton’s “If You Think You Can” starts with this amazing statement: “In the real world, moments of devastation are likely to come your way… It’s part of the process. Consequently, setbacks drive some to fight harder. For others, it provides a reason to quit. The difference is all in your perspective.” Nowhere, so far, have a found a more inspiring example of this statement than with Janine Shephard’s story: “A broken Body isn’t a broken person”. Aside from her massive courage in the face of a terrible circumstance, she gives the credit for her successful recovery to an other.
Janine got into an accident that cut short her Olympic career and the doctors told her she would never walk again, much less do any cross-country skying. During recovery in the spinal ward, she was placed next to a younger girl who was expected to live the rest of her life paralyzed from the neck down. These two got to know each other over the months that followed and since they could move, they were only capable of seeing each other’s reflection with the aid of overhead mirrors. Janine relates that she told the doctor that she was worried she’d make this girl more unhappy, because she was depressed about her new lot, but the doctor believed something else would happen. He was right, of course. Janine’s roommate always had a smile on her face. Her perspective was unshakable. She was alive, her mind was intact, and she was grateful, because before she was scared about not knowing what to do with her life and now she could focus on fewer options. It was easier for her now. Not once did she define herself by her condition. Janine was inspired to do the same.
Maxwell Matlz in his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, states: “If you are what you do, when you don’t, you aren’t.” For Janine and her amazing roommate, that meant needing to define themselves other than their physical state. In book after book, we read about the importance of gratitude. What we are really being told here is to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have. Epictetus teaches us “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This nugget of wisdom has been around for nearly two thousand years now and has been reused by every thought leader from Napoleon Hill to Anthony Robbins. I think there’s something in it, don’t you? Your perspective dictates your course of action. For myself, I started applying a saying I used to hear a lot as a child. “It may just be a blessing in disguise”. T.J. says with conviction that whatever the outcome, no matter how dismal, it always contains a blessing in disguise.
So look to what you have, not what you don’t. In every challenge and every adversity, look for the silver lining. Don’t stop at accepting that everything happens for a reason. Give yourself the gift of a different perspective and use your imagination to create the blessings from all your bad stuff. Or as the Monty Python song goes:”Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life!”
Today, make the choice to re-interpret and perceive your current circumstances or any specific past event in a more beneficial way…
Wishing you a tremendous week!