I felt compelled to write this blog post because I thought others might need it. We live in challenging times, but that’s a phrase that is used quiet often as there are always challenges in the world. Now, it’s the global political climate, the hurricanes devastating parts of Texas, the Caribbean and Florida, the threat of our impact on the world, and countless other items that fuel news sites and keep people awake worrying.
I don’t mean to marginalize anyone’s challenges, in fact those are what make you, you. Challenges ideally provide us an opportunity togrow, to make a choice. There are some challenges that we are in control of, like reaching a goal at work, running an 8 minute mile, eating healthy, the list goes on and fills our days. Those challenges become months, then years, and suddenly lifetimes. That’s pretty heavy huh?
We spend our entire lives encountering challenges. Let that sink in. Life essentially is how you respond and live beside your challenges. Whether you embrace them, conquer them, or let them consume you. That is your life.
Of course, there are the challenges you are not in control of. These seem to be the issues that start to whittle away at us, because we have no power to directly change things. I can’t decide to alone make world peace happen. I can’t call North Korea and recommend that we all just “pipe the fuck the down.” I can’t even force my mom/dog/the dude to do anything they don’t want to truly do. I have no control over these situations. Nothing I do can change a foreign leader’s mind – I cannot control it/him/them…. others.
I know what you’re thinking – my actions do control outcomes! Well, yes and no. You cannot control others. Plan and simple. What you can control is your reaction and action towards others. You can persuade someone, convince them to do things, but fundamentally, you are not in the driver’s seat for them.
So what am I really going on about? The only thing you have control over is yourself.
You only have the power to control your actions, reactions, and purpose. You are ONLY in charge of YOU.
What? It’s true, yes even if you have kids – especially if you have others depending on you, I’m sure you know that you can’t really control them and trying to do so makes every situation worse.
So what do you do? You focus on yourself first.
You are 100% in charge of your own reactions to a situation. You can choose to be upset, you can choose to facilitate anger, disappointment, or fear. You can choose to react anyway you want. I’m sure you see where I am going with this – your choices do have consequences or further reactions.
So how do you find positivity in challenging times?
You choose that for yourself and set the intention of positivity.
Instead of watching the hurricane coverage and feeling sad, scared or angry, you could start a local Facebook group to collect toiletries for the victims stranded in Houston and surrounding areas.
Instead of feeling like you hate your job and dread going to work each day, you could start challenging yourself to learn one new skill and use it each day. Or you could make a list of all the reasons why you are such an amazing asset to the company and then spend your free time looking for a new job that will recognize that list.
Instead of feeling consumed by guilt and fear over money, you could honor yourself to create a realistic budget and exercise it.
I could go on forever. Now this doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days. It doesn’t mean that every single moment is a ray of sunshine or that the state of our world is in any different shape. However, I think you’ll find that as you start to react intentionally and with positivity, you can dramatically change the way the world impacts you and thus how you give back to it.