Resiliency and Grit are learned behaviors that enable us to not only survive, but thrive in the face of adversity. This is your sixth of 14 daily messages, each containing an exercise designed to strengthen your development of these two key skills. Keep a journal, record your reflections and chronicle your growth.
Exercise #5 (with thanks to Burton M. Fishler)
Here’s an unfortunate reality, people tend to dwell on the things that have gone wrong in their day and in their lives. It could be a meeting that didn’t go as planned, a school schedule that just won’t work, or this entire COVID issue. This obsession with the negative, or that part of our life that is not working, can have a detrimental impact on our broader life and well-being and can even lead to depressive thinking. The good news is, we have a choice.
There is an alternative to dwelling on things gone wrong; rather than focusing on the negative, we can seek to discover the “Silver Lining”. So, where’s the silver lining? The answer lies in what we learn from experiencing life’s difficult events. In Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor Frankel writes, “nobody of us is spared suffering at one time or another. But everybody in the midst of suffering is given a chance to bear testimony of the human potential at its best, which is to turn a personal tragedy into a human triumph.”
The silver lining is found through the recognition that we have a choice. Sometimes the shattering of our current world, or a part of it, provides the opportunity to start anew; to be given the gift of re-defining ourselves and realign our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with what feels right to our authentic selves — at this point in time
Each dawn ushers in a new day and in that newness we have the opportunity to choose new directions and new opportunities. The good news is, We get to choose our world. Love over hate. Kindness over selfishness. Empathy over indifference. Compassion over cruelty. Gratitude over self-pity. Forgiveness over anger. Moderation over excess. Human connection over isolation. Healthy over toxic relationships. Courage over cowardice. Altruism over greed. Smiling over frowning.
Today’s exercise is simple, take a moment and think about the choices you will make today. How can you choose the positive over the negative?
The past is the past. We must learn from it, learn to let go, and be our best selves in the present. When we take responsibility for our lives, it becomes empowering to realize that we are not helpless. Today is a new day, what choices will you make to create your new destiny?
Embrace the Challenge!