Chanan (Antony) Gordon, formerly of Johannesburg, South Africa, is a Yated columnist, a sought-after lecturer, a former…
In this journey called ‘life,’ there will always be STORMS … many people sadly postpone their lives … they claim that they are waiting for the STORMS to subside … We cannot delay living our lives to the full until the proverbial SUN COMES OUT … To live a meaningful and successful life, we have to learn to DANCE IN THE RAIN …
When one is faced with a crisis, the first thing one needs to address is one’s “thinking” or “mindset.” If one sees the issue as a crisis or problem, then one has adopted an adversarial or “fighting” attitude. A more productive attitude is to view the crisis as a challenge or puzzle to solve, or, if not to solve, at least to deal with. It is not there to “break” me, but to bring out some hidden strength or ability from within me. It doesn’t make me evil or bad or a loser. If one is willing to adopt this attitude, then one can “make friends” with the challenge and one is then much better equipped to deal with it.
Isn’t that just a mind game? By calling something a challenge instead of a problem, aren’t I just fooling myself? Not really. By abandoning the attitude that the world is out to get me, I transform debilitating negative energy into positive practical energy, which I can then use to help me solve my problem. My challenge is to harness as much of the mental and emotional energy at my disposal and make it work for me instead of letting my pent-up anger and negativity drain me. This “mind game” has very real effects. Look at it this way, it takes thirty- eight facial muscles to frown, and only eighteen facial muscles to smile, so it makes sense to save my physical and emotional energy, and smile at my problem!
The knee jerk reaction when life seems overwhelming is to raise the notorious ‘WHY? questions … WHY me? or WHY does everyone else have it so easy?
First of all, it’s not true. Even though it may appear that everything goes smoothly for my neighbor, friend, or boss, it is simply not true. That person may not be going through what I am, but each person faces challenges tailor made for him or her to bring out their unique hidden strengths and abilities. Each person has a unique array of inherited DNA, genes and chromosomes and a special set of parental, social and economic circumstances that make up his or her personality.
Just as there are approximately seven billion different human faces in the world, so too there are seven billion different, special and unique individuals in the world, each with his or her own challenge. I am unique in the universe. No one else has my set of abilities and weaknesses, therefore no one else has my set of personal challenges.
When a difficulty or problem comes my way, I must realize that it has never been presented to a person with my genetic or behavioral makeup ever before in world history. This is my special project or mission, for better
or worse. It has my name on it. Only I can solve it or deal with it, in accordance with my unique set of abilities and weaknesses. My neighbor’s marriage, job, house, and all of his or her issues are his to deal with. Looking over one’s shoulder or envying the situation of one’s neighbor is a waste of personal energy that one should be conserving to deal with one’s own challenges.
In short, when the “going gets tough,” if I consciously step into my “thinking mode” and view the difficulty as my unique challenge. I will be able to filter out any “why me?” issues and be able to focus on the task at hand of dealing with my challenge. I will not waste physical or emotional energy by comparing myself to others, but I will harness all of my special strengths and abilities to enable me to concentrate and deal with the issues before me.
When the GOING gets TOUGH… the TOUGH get GROWING … start thinking and step into the positive mindset. Most importantly, ALWAYS remember WHO sent you the CRISIS and HOW MUCH HE LOVES YOU!
Chanan (Antony) Gordon