I love this time of year. The music, the carols, the lights…and I guess the food, although I am not a big eater. I like the general feeling that seems to float around the air; people appear to be happier and more helpful towards each other.
This kindness seems to transcend race, age and social class. Yes, it may well only be for two or three weeks of the year-but it’s better than nothing. Yes, this time of year is a time of hope and charity.
Now, (Like many other people around the globe), I also have a tinge of sadness too. My dear sister and brother both departed at this festive time. Ruth, my sister, just before Christmas and Clive, my brother, right after New Year. Fortunately I am able to cope well. Now I manage to smile when I think about them.
Life is Unfair
This got me thinking that there are probably many people who are thinking that life is utter crap, horrid and unfair, regardless of it being a generally happier time. Circumstances could be placing them in a position that is making them think to themselves, “Why me?” or, “Why me and why now?”
Life is unfair sometimes. Things do happen to us that can seem unjust and make us think “Why me?”. But I do believe that life, generally speaking, is not all bad.
It is our perception of life that I believe makes the greater difference. How we respond when life is unfair, which from time to time, it will be. Acceptance of that inevitable fact is half the battle won. We can’t be in control of all of life’s events and never will be.
But we can always be in control of our response if we choose to be.
And that’s the major chunk of that same battle; the ability to look at things in a different light, from another viewpoint.
In one of my favourite films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed (No synopsis here. Google it if you’ve never watched it before. Better still, download it or buy it) James Stewart gets the opportunity to view how life would have panned out if he hadn’t been born.
He get’s to see it from another viewpoint on a massive scale. He realises that he has been a great influence on many people in his life. It’s the power in this different perspective that I would like to get across. Once he sees things in a completely new light, he goes from wanting to ending his life, to being overly joyed at the debt he is in and the imminent loss of his business, and another dream disappearing down the drain.
Now we don’t have a guardian angel to come down and show us another perspective. But we do have a mind and the ability to think and ask different, empowering questions to give us that other perspective that can help us.
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
To help you gain another perspective you must first believe that there is another way to look at it; there are other possibilities (And there are). If you are extremely emotional due to your current circumstances, try and calm yourself down before looking for the ‘good’ in your situation.
When you have done that, these two questions alone can help you.
What could be great about the situation I am in right now?
What could be truly beneficial about this set of circumstances I find myself in?
There is something good in virtually every situation
Let’s say you lost your job last week. You are facing Christmas unemployed. How could this be viewed differently? What possible ‘good’ could there be in that?
Well, maybe, just maybe, it could be viewed in another way with positives. For example, the lack of money to buy presents could produce the opportunity to spend more traditional and quality time with the family. Creating memories that will last a lifetime.
People will rarely remember that you bought them an iphone or an expensive perfume set in 30 years time. But they would remember the fun, laughter and love you all shared that Christmas eve.
The loss of the job could inspire you to start a new career or be the driving force so you can finally go for that dream job, or start a business (You can start a business with very little money. Indeed there is another viewpoint for that: Lack of funds can make you extra creative and more determined to make it happen)
So whatever you are going through, it is your perception of those events that makes all the difference.
A change in perspective doesn’t mean the problems or the uncomfortable situation you are experiencing magically disappear.
But neither does thinking, “Why me?”
What it will do is make the journey through the situation easier and less painful. Your mind will also be less stressed so you can have greater clarity to find the solutions, creativity and strength needed to get you through.
Plus, you could find a new, golden opportunity hidden amongst your test of character that life has unexpectedly thrown at you. Remember, what you focus on you will find.
I can personally vouch for the fact that changing your thinking, really can change your life.