For once, let’s put away our prejudices and definitions of bad things and good things. Wipe your spectacles clean of any color and bias. You will find that one after another you go through life and the various situations it presents you with. They simply occur. You are the one that colors it red for danger and green for go. It is your perspective that has been framed by what you see in society and what society thinks. So, I’ve got one word for you- Outlook!
Bad versus Good? It’s all about Perspective
Sometimes, the largest boulder in our path after we have experienced something ‘bad’, is our mindset towards the situation. The mindset is almost the largest, most influential factor when it comes to overcoming troubled times. The weak fall behind, drowning themselves in depression; while some others tread forward.
Three Personas – My Observation
I’d love for you to verify if you have come across the same kinds of people as I have classified below:
- The Despaired: He is forlorn, helpless and becomes absolutely depressed. While all negative thoughts hog his mind and he yearns for what he has lost (his love, his job or both in one); there is absolutely no scope for him to move on and overcome the ‘bad’. Painful to note how painfully they spend the rest of their lives, nostalgic about what they lost while they could have spent the same time creating something wonderful for themselves, even if it was from scratch.
- The Fighter: The most rare kind- the Fighter, has a very fast recovery period after a trying time/situation. He does not indulge in disputes with his destiny, or waste time cursing his luck and quietly resumes the bigger plan for his life. Even while many others continue mourning for his bad time, he moves on.
- The Cusp: In case you’re not familiar with the word ‘cusp’, it means a pointed end where two curves meet. You must have deduced by now that I am referring to a combination of the Fighter and the Despaired. I encourage people to be a part of the Cusp. To me it seems humanly achievable. A cusp is one who initially drowns himself in agony, but wakes up one morning to put it all behind and turn to author a new chapter of his life.
Where do you belong?
Rainbows after the Storm Has Passed
We are only human, so we fail to recognize that sometimes these gravely ‘bad’ things can have some life-altering implications.
Very often I get phone calls from my friends, or once-upon-a-time acquaintances, in a state of desperation because they got laid off from work. They feel like it’s the WORST THING EVER to have happened to them! I try and so do many others to help in a situation like it. The only solace I offer is that “What has happened might be an indicator of scope for dramatic change in your life, so try to turn the situation in your favor.” As an entrepreneur, I urge a lot of my friends to channelize entrepreneurship after getting fired. 10 out of 30 times, they succeed. But how did they manage to succeed after such a massive crisis in life? It was only because they put the negative experience behind them.
I wonder if you find this relatable, but there was a sense of relief when an uncle of mine was forbidden from his callous lifestyle of excess smoking and alcohol post a stroke. Yes, a stroke is a horrible thing. And God forbid it befall anybody. But it behaved like a checkpoint for my uncle, who now lives healthier and is likely to live a few years longer compared to if it had not happened. He has put the incident behind him, and is a changed man! When it happened it was the WORST THING EVER to have happened! But believe it or not, he altered psychologically as well after the ‘bad’ incident and is now more caring, sensitive to his family and friends who showed so much concern for his welfare.
All the people we admire; who occupy the limelight have fought through the most trying times- Oprah fought sexual abuse as a child, Steve Jobs fought cancer during his most glorious days; Soichoro Honda’s products were turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation..and look at where that led him!
Embrace Life and Overcome your Bad Times
There is a sort of chaos associated with life as a whole. You must embrace it to have truly ‘lived’. I am reminded of these beautiful words by Mary Oliver from one of my favorites, ‘The Summer Day’ and I’d love to share it with you.
“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Remember, the challenge is either a mountain or a mole; entirely based on what we make of it. They say nothing lasts forever and the same maxim applies to your troubles! So take on the challenge with your head held high and create wonders.