You May Not Always Have Control Over What Happens In Your Life, But You CAN Choose How You React to People and Situations, No Matter How Frustrating They May Seem!
Author Charles Swindoll once said,
“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, but I also understand how challenging it can be to put our emotions on pause and shift how we react to people we feel frustrated by, or in situations we find very challenging!
The good news is that there is a simple way to shift our thoughts in any given moment to make any circumstance or situation easier and more peaceful to navigate.
After investing the last 40 years studying and mentoring others in transformational principles – and living with intention – I’ve found that chances are the issues you’re facing aren’t so cut and dry.
Plus, here’s the truth…
You don’t always have control over what happens in your life.
Say someone cuts you off in traffic, or a person checking you in for your flight at the airport is rude. Or your partner comes home acting cranky after a challenging day at work.
Just for a minute, I’d like you to imagine that you actually hired that person to cut you off in traffic. You hired that person at the airport to be rude to you. You even hired your partner to come home cranky!
If you imagine that this is the case, would you feel differently about the person or situation? How would you choose to respond?
Looking at your life from the perspective that you CHOSE every person and circumstance in it can be incredibly liberating and one of the first steps toward living with intention!
Why? It’s because no matter who you encounter or what your circumstances are, you always have the power to choose how you respond.
And sometimes, you just need a little reminder that you actually have a choice!
Years ago, an anthropologist named Joseph Campbell wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
In this book, he describes something called The Hero’s Journey – a series of events that most heroes go through on their path toward ultimate victory and success.
The Hero’s Journey goes something like this:
An average person sets out to accomplish a challenging task. Along the way, the person faces great difficulty, and after a long and arduous journey, they eventually overcome adverse circumstances.
And in the end, the hero discovers that they have more power and potential than they ever dreamed of.
Just like the hero in The Hero’s Journey, you have way more power and potential than you know – and you can tap into this power any time you want.
When you choose to shift your thinking from a place of frustration to a place of curiosity, something magical and actually miraculous begins to happen…
You start to realize that no one but you has the power to take away your peace of mind.
Of course, you probably wouldn’t choose to be cut off in traffic, or spoken to in a certain way.
But since events like this happen all the time, and are mostly beyond your control, why not use situations like these to empower yourself to be the best you can be?
You, like everyone else, will most likely encounter unfavorable people and circumstances throughout your life. But the good news is you have complete authority over how you choose to react to every experience.
So the next time someone does something or an event happens that annoys or frustrates you, I encourage you to:
- Take a deep breath.
- Hit your internal pause button.
- Ask yourself, “What if I hired this person?” or “Who do I want to be in this situation?”
If you still feel angry, turn up the volume on your curiosity.
Then ask yourself:
“What is one step I could take, right now, that would help me towards my goal of living with intention?”
Take that step right away, even if you can’t see the entire path of where it will lead.
That person at the airport who was rude to you while checking you in for your flight… have you ever wondered if they were having a hard day? Why not send them a little prayer as you walk to your gate, or silently send them a blessing for a better rest of the day?
Most likely you would have preferred that they had been pleasant, but since they weren’t, how can you maintain a pleasant attitude within yourself regardless of what they are or are not doing?
When we begin to disconnect from the demand that people be who we want them to be, and circumstances be the way we want them to be, we discover that we have a hidden power in us… and it’s the power to choose who we’re going to be, no matter the circumstance, situation or condition.
“How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer
Now here’s a question for you
What’s an insight that you have about the possibility that you’ve actually hired everyone in your life, even the people and interactions you find frustrating or challenging?
Go ahead and share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!
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For more proven, step-by-step strategies on how you can create a life you love living and generate extraordinary dreams – including three including proven, simple, but highly effective methods for overcoming fear, limitations and procrastination – click here to download a free copy of my eBook, Stronger than Circumstances.