Negative, Positive, Facts

Many people have a hard time seeing things from another perspective.

It’s also human nature to see the negative before we see the positive.

For those who see the positive first, congratulations!

If only it stopped there.

Most things in life have three sides: An upside (positive side), a downside (negative side), and the facts.

We can correlate this to the phrase “There are three sides to a story.” My side. Your side. The Truth.

Whether you start on the negative side or positive side of the spectrum, it would be wise to use the facts as a go-between.

There are many uncertainties in life. The goal is to accept things as they are at the moment.

Acceptance does not equate to weakness, conformity, or mediocrity. It is an opportunity to exercise critical thinking to identify the three sides of a situation and how to best address it.

We all have a choice of how we respond to events in our lives. For example, if someone pays you a compliment, you can choose whether to be flattered or offended. The individual’s intent introduces the third side of the scenario.

It All Starts With You

I took this picture approximately eight years ago in Los Angeles, CA.

The caption “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” immediately got my attention.

While this sign is an advertisement for a musical, it is also something we’re all familiar with: Our innate desire to change others.

Since taking this picture, I’ve changed States, mates, and professions.

Along with these changes came lessons learned and opportunities gained.

More importantly, I acknowledge that I am a common denominator.

Maybe we wouldn’t have to work so hard trying to change others if we first change ourselves.

Maybe we should let go of our version of who we think others should be.

Have you ever noticed how people complain about the weather, yet, they have no control over it?

Have you ever witnessed someone having a hard time letting go of the past when there is no way to recover it?

Do you realize that we cannot change the fact that change is inevitable?

Can you meaningfully help others if you can’t help yourself?

Change starts with you.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Gandhi

Perspective

I was listening to a podcast by John C. Maxwell where he explained how our perspective of things could change the events of our day. He gave an example of people with road rage. 

If you’ve ever experienced road rage, it is not uncommon to see someone give the middle finger as an expression of their anger. John said he views it as people showing him that they are his number one fan.

We have a choice of how we respond to the events of our day. E.g., I stopped at a grocery store one morning to buy some coffee creamer. The creamer was on a high shelf that I had to tiptoe to reach. When I pulled the creamer off the shelf, white liquid spilled all over my clothes and purse. I guess this was someone’s idea of a practical joke, but there were no TV cameras involved.

At that precise moment, I had to determine if I was going to rant and rave to anyone within earshot, or calmly wipe myself off before alerting a store clerk as to what happened. As challenging as it was, I went with option two because I’ve learned that reacting in anger, only manifests something else to be angry about, which can show up in the form of road rage as I’m leaving the store.

The point of the story is that we can’t control why people do what they do, but we can control our response to it.

Self Pity

Self-pity is a self-destructive emotion that presents a warped sense of reality. Feelings of self-pity typically arise out of specific situations.

Emotionally, we are most vulnerable to self-pity after a great effort or when faced with real physical needs. Feeling sorry for yourself or your circumstance doesn’t help the situation. It only dilutes the good you may be doing.

Self-pity is a perspective that can easily be changed. Once you acknowledge what you are dissatisfied with, it is your responsibility to work towards changing your predicament.

You will experience many highs and lows throughout your lifetime. The goal is to get through the lows as quickly as possible and seek support if necessary to aid you through the process.

Playing the victim causes you to lose sight of all you have to be grateful for and the fact that you have it better than someone else in the world.

Keep in mind that people are not as willing to help someone that is not taking the necessary measures to help himself.

“Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, and it will put off your achievements. It prohibits excellence and prevents expansion.” Anonymous

Prayer

Prayer is the first step in any venture.

Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives.

When you pray, great things happen.

Prayer quiets your thoughts and emotions and prepares you to listen.

Too often, we pray superficially. Prayer, by contrast, requires concentration.

When you pray, difficult decisions fall into proper perspective. Therefore, pray for the wisdom to see it and the energy and motivation to do it.

When it seems your prayers have gone unanswered, what you need may already be within your reach, or you have yet to fulfill the responsibilities given to you.