One day, on starting his first lecture a supply teacher took his students by surprise.
“Get a pen and get ready for a test!”, the teacher said.
“He is pulling our legs, he has not even started teaching, and he already wants to examine us”, a few students mumbled.
But, the teacher was not joking, he handed out the test facing down.
When all the students had their copy of the paper, the teacher told them to turn the page.
At that point, the students were even more surprised.
There was nothing on the paper, no questions at all, just a black dot at the center.
Then, the young teacher instructed the students: “Please, write about what you can see”.
The students couldn’t believe their eyes, “He must be completely mad”, a few of them gabbled before starting the weird task.
They stretched their brains to find something to write about, but they ended up writing just a few sentences.
After all, there isn’t much to say about a black dot on a white paper, is there?
They couldn’t wrap their minds around the task, it didn’t make any sense to them.
Finally, the students wrote something about the size of the dot, its position, the intensity, and the brightness of the color.
It was without any doubt the most bizarre and tough task they had ever been assigned.
One hour later the teacher collected the students’ works.
He read all the assignments out loud, and then asked the students: “Have you noticed that everyone has written about the black dot and nobody about the surrounding white part of the paper“?
The students looked intrigued and the teacher went on: “I just wanted to plant a seed of awareness about what happens in our life day in and day out.
You see, our life is a wonderful gift; it is like the white sheet, we have all of it at our disposal to enjoy, yet we tend to constantly focus on life’s faults, i.e. the black dot on the paper”.
The students started clapping and cheering and said: “Even if it has been a really unusual test, we have learned the most important lesson we could ever have been taught, thanks a lot”.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Why are human beings so masochistic?
Instead of being grateful for what we have, we get frustrated by paying too much attention to the dark spots, e.g. issues concerning finances, work, relationships, health, etc.
Anyone can be grateful and appreciate the gift of being alive.
However, we take it for granted, and we tend to underestimate its value.
Let’s start being more mindful today, let’s recognize the broad white part of the paper we all have, and focus our attention on it.
Yet, we shouldn't completely disregard the black dots that are part of life.
As a matter of fact, I believe that there is no “good” without “bad”, and so what we call “negative experiences” are as pivotal as the positive ones in order to live a fulfilling life.
The trick is to learn from the “negative situations” we all experience throughout our life and grow through them and get to the next level of our personal development.
It’s easy to feel happy when everything goes smoothly, but we should learn to be happy even when the shit hits the fan.
Every time you feel down because something does not go the way you expect, or when someone or something bothers you, ask yourself: “What can I learn out of this situation?”
“How can I use this situation as a life lesson?”
For instance, I am living with my mum right now, and trust me, it’s really easy to disagree about most of the things we do together.
I could have carried on as I had always done and complained about my mother’s attitude, but what for?
On the contrary, I decided to change how I approach my relationship with her.
I look at it as the opportunity to become more flexible and tolerant, accepting and opening up to her point of view, so that I can apply what comes from this lesson also to other relationships, from work to friendships, to partnerships, etc.
We always have the choice to see the glass half full and so to learn even in the worst circumstances.
It all comes down to how we approach life, we can do it either by reacting to it or by wittingly responding to it.
Do you react or do you respond to the challenges that life presents you?
When we approach life in the latter way we stop behaving like victims, we become the creators of our life.
Life no longer happens to us, but it happens for us.
We should start looking at the black dot from a different perspective.
What about considering each aspect of our life, even its black shadows, as an opportunity to improve ourselves?
If you have read some of my former posts you know that I am a great believer that only through challenges can we forge ourselves.
Having said that I also believe that it’s naive to let the tiny black dot become the focal point of our attention when we have a full white paper to admire.
“Where focus goes, energy flows”. - Tony Robbins
Make sure that you focus on the beautiful things in your life so that you will enhance your positive energy.