Do you feel overwhelmed by the challenging circumstances you are in? There are moments in life when we feel tightened in a vice, with no way out. The circumstances we experience seem unsustainable. However, what if I told you that you could turn your life around? It all boils down to one minor thing, changing perspective; in other words, looking at yourself and the things around you from a different angle!
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”. - Wayne W. Dyer
Looking at your life circumstances from another perspective will not automatically change it.
Yet, it will allow you to free yourself from the vice for a while, and to reflect on what you can do to turn your life around.
Changing perspective enables us to stop our circumstances defining us, and to move from being a victim to becoming the maker of our lives.
It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you”. - Zig Ziglar
Let me highlight how important the way we look at ourselves and our stories is by means of the following enlightening story.
TWO BROTHERS, SAME ALCOHOLIC FATHER, BUT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
Two brothers, John and Luke were raised by an alcoholic father.
John became an alcoholic and a homeless person.
When asked, “How did you end up becoming an alcoholic and a homeless person"?
He replied, “After a tough childhood like the one I had, where I saw my father getting drunk day in and day out, suffering most of the time, and having him as my only role model, what else could I have become?
A rich and well-regarded man? I have been drinking since I was 15 and over the years I lost all my money and now I live on the street, begging for a pint of beer!”.
The interviewer was moved by John’s story and shocked when he found out that John’s brother, Luke, on the other hand, was living in a luxurious villa, and had become super-rich.
How come the life of two brothers who were brought up by the same father, in the same environment, and under the same circumstances turned out to be so different?
Intrigued, the interviewer asked Luke, “How did you end up becoming rich and living in this luxurious villa?”.
“Well, after a tough childhood like the one I had, where I saw my father getting drunk day in and day out, suffering all day, and having him as my only role model, what else could I have become?
I promised myself I would never follow in his footsteps! I decided to learn from my father’s way of living and I’ve been doing the opposite of what he did. That’s why I am a teetotaler, rich and I live in a luxurious villa”.
Two different points of view!
3 VALUABLE LESSONS FROM THE STORY
1) WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHERS THROUGH OUR OWN EXAMPLE
Like it or not, the people around us look at how we behave and often they tend to model what we do.
So, we’d better always keep in mind that through our own example we can either positively influence the life of others or negatively impact it forever.
2) WE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM OTHERS’ HARSH LIFE
It’s way better to avoid ending up living a miserable life by learning a lesson from someone else’s experience than to have to experience it ourselves.
Like in the story we can learn an awful lot from our parents.
We can look at them as an example – in some cases, it may be a positive one and so it is clever to follow in their steps; in others, it may not.
Either way, we always have the opportunity to learn.
3) WE ALL HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE
We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we always get to choose how we respond to it.
We don’t have power over life circumstances, but we have full power over how we look at things and how we respond.
John and Luke started in the same place, dealing with the same uncomfortable situation.
However, they chose completely different paths because they looked at their situation from different points of view.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It’s all about how we look at things!
John and Luke had the same father and experienced the same challenging childhood.
However, different perspectives led them to respond to life’s circumstances differently, which turned into two opposite outcomes - John became broke and Luke rich!
It’s not the circumstance we are facing itself to defines us and determines how our lives will be like, but how we look at ourselves and at the challenges life presents us with; ultimately the way we respond to them.
How do you look at yourself and your life? What is the story that you keep telling yourself about your life and yourself?
Do you keep complaining about how unfair your life is or, on the contrary, do you focus on all the positive stuff?
“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses”. - Proverb
Make an effort and start changing the way you look at things.
You have the opportunity to find the bright side to your situation, no matter how tough it seems, by only changing your view and identifying the positive aspects of every experience.
There is a lesson in the suffering and there is a beautiful rose in your thorn bush
Changing point of view gives us the possibility to progress and change our lives for the better.
At first, we may think it is an uphill road, and eventually discover it is downhill.
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