Long before I started speaking, writing and coaching on personal development topics I was a student. In fact I’m still very much a student first.
During my studies, as you might imagine I’ve learned a lot of ideas — some I’ve found applicable and have implemented in my life, and some, as I’ve progressed in my own personal development journey no longer fit quite like they once did. If you think about it, that makes sense — we are always growing after all.
Throughout my years of study and application in the field of personal development, one idea always seems to ring true. In fact, it has played such an important part in my own life’s journey that I feel compelled to share it with you here now.
Ready? here goes…
You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react to what happens to you.
Did you get that? Please read that again as it’s that important. Even better, grab a 3×5 index card (or your journal) and write it down.
In life, any number of things can happen — good or bad. As someone far brighter than I once said, “the only constant is change.” Before I continue let me say that the point of my writing here is not to get into a discussion on the line of thinking that says that we are attracting into our life each and every negative event — be it disease, the death of a loved one, or insert whatever devastating thing you can think of — that happens to us (either consciously or on a subconscious level). That’s not my point here. Besides, there are no shortage of experts who have addressed that particular line of thinking elsewhere 🙂
What I am saying, is that no matter what may have happened to us, whether it was someone taking advantage of us, a shift in the economy that led to being downsized, or virtually any other situation you choose to apply to this, the simple truth remains — how we choose to react to it is well within our control.
That is not to say that it’s always going to be easy, sometimes it means accepting things we have a hard time accepting, and taking corrective measures that are anything but comfortable.
However, the powerful thing about acknowledging this truth is that in doing so we come to realize that we are able to get over simply accepting the role of victim — the part that says, this happened to me — this is why I’m this way, and as a result I can’t do anything to change where I am.
Instead we are able to move to a more empowering position of, this happened, but by taking action I can change my particular situation for the better.
Through fully embracing the belief that you have control over how you react to what occurs in your life you unleash your personal greatness. You no longer have to accept that you are at the mercy of whatever may come your way, but rather that you can take an active role in defining, and in turn get on with living your perfect life.
While it is true that it isn’t always easy to fully embrace and accept this truth day in and day out — it is imperative that you do make the effort to do so just the same. Fortunately, in most cases it is as easy as being aware of it — even if at first you notice you have resistance to it — by keeping the idea in mind, in time you will come to accept it as well as benefit from all that goes along with viewing challenges and adversity in this light.
Inside this simple, yet profound thought is exactly what is needed in most cases to move you from a place where you feel stuck or out of control to a place where you realize that by applying action — and acquiring new skills, whatever you identify that is needed to learn — you can in fact take an active step towards changing your place for the better.
If you find yourself in a place in your own life where all is going well, then all the better. The idea will only make more concrete the reality that you have all you need to achieve your goals and dreams.
Keep clearly in mind that great personal power comes from knowing that come what may, for better or worse you can play an active role in shaping — and in turn living the life you were meant to live.
It’s your life, LIVE BIG! Josh Hinds 🙂
* Josh Hinds is the author of Why Perfect Timing is a Myth: Tips for Staying Inspired and Motivated Day in and Day out! and It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!