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  • Posted October 15, 2018

Beware – You’ll Find What You’re Looking For

Have you ever met someone who, it seemed, could find the negative in ANYTHING? I’m not sure I was ever this negative, but I definitely struggled with keeping a positive outlook when I was younger. It felt like I could always justify my feelings, because it was so easy to point out how things didn’t go as I expected/wanted.

Over the years I’ve since learned it’s more about the lens you look through than what is happening. Yes, there are still horrible life events – my wife’s sudden illness and death being the most obvious case to me; but although these can (and likely will) be defining moments in your life they do NOT need to be the case study for how the world is, and always will be, a messed up place.

YOU control your narrative. We can, and should, control how we react. When I was younger I didn’t think I could – it was not uncommon of me to fly off the handle in reaction to something, regardless of how petty (in hindsight). My son’s disabilities have helped me change my perspective, because it has shown me crystal clear examples of what is beyond my control to change, yet absolutely within my control to moderate my reactions to.

I’ve taught (and continue to teach) myself to think before following through on my reactions. I still get the fight/flight/freeze responses, but now I have an inner timer where I’m counting down from 15 before I allow myself to react. There are times where I must (and do) react much faster, and conversely times when 15 wasn’t cutting it – I’m a work in progress. But I will not allow myself to fester in the depths of self-pity and anger that I gave control over in my teens, 20’s and 30’s.

What do you want from life? Do you enjoy being you? If the answer is “no”, what can you do to change? More importantly, what outside forces can you invite in to help you change? After all, if you could change on your own you likely wouldn’t be where you are now (IMHO).

Life is too short not to be enjoyed, and you spend too much time at work not to have fun. With this in mind I challenge you to think about how you can do both.