As human beings we love meaningful conversation! This is a truth I think we can all agree upon. I, personally, strive to surround myself with a peer group that will indulge this sweet tooth, and when this occurs I light up like a Christmas tree! One of my favorite topics to discuss is, the way we perceive the world and the occurrences that we come upon each and every day. Life is full of ups and downs, but its how we choose to respond thats the key to our happiness and fulfillment.
Im known for being an extremely positive individual. Its who I am, and I’ve often told people I can find the gift in just about any situation that is presented. With this being said, I must explain that I don’t just ignore the negatives that we all encounter through this journey we know as life. To dismiss these encounters is to only experience a portion of life, because it is only when we embrace negativity and adversity and overcome it that we can move forward towards our goals, dreams and ultimately the best-version-of-ourselves. The keyword however is embrace, not empower or dwell upon.
“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power” ~Shirley MacLaine
This has been a reoccurring subject lately, specifically in two very powerful conversations with two very good friends of mine. The first was with a friend and client of mine Kris Mathis (KrisMathis.com) an outstanding speaker and author out of my hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan. The other was with my pastor, mentor and dear friend Trent Booth (LifeWalk Church). This topic of conversation is a common occurrence throughout my circle of friends and influence, but what I found to be interesting was the subject of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne that was brought up in both conversations. If your unfamiliar with the book its discusses the idea of the “Law of Attraction”, being if you think about anything hard enough and picture it happening it will happen to you.
Before I dive into the thoughts of my recent discussions, realize I do believe this book brings up some valid points, however I also feel it is one sided. And although I don’t entirely agree with all the view points stated throughout the book I do believe in the idea of your thoughts largely impacting your life, and the idea of choosing what you think about wisely, which I’ve discussed in recent blog posts.
Going back to my conversations this last week, the topic that was brought up was the idea of adversity and negativity and how we react to it. This is one of the issues we had with the book, is the fact that its focused on nothing but the positive, and if we just think positive thoughts we can have anything we want as if we found some genii to grant our every wish. The positives are great, and you should absolutely put emphasis on them, but as I stated above, to dismiss any negativity or adversity would be ignorance. Any goal or dream worth having is going to have adversity along the way. The bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacle! To just sit in front of such adversity and pretend it doesn’t exist would never get you towards your goal. And this is one of the main reasons why people fail to hit their dreams, is because of resources like “The Secret” sugar coating the truth and not allowing people to realize that there are going to be obstacles along the way. In fact we are shaped with this sort of thought process from the time we were young kids. Its true you can be anything you want to be, but what we leave out is that it takes perseverance to accomplish their dreams. Its as if we feel we will scare kids out of their dreams, so rather than empowering them with the tools they need to encounter these hurtles we provide the “yellow brick road” version.
“Adversity tests us from time to time and it is inevitable that this testing continues during life” ~Walter Annenberg
I agree that we should focus on the positives, but thats not to say we refuse to shine light on the negatives as well. We need resources that will send the message that adversity will show up at different levels along our journey. And even more important than that is when it does show up that we don’t try to ignore it or sweep it under the rug, but instead we embrace it with open arms, knowing that its all part of the process. The reality is we need the adversity, it makes the dream worth having. It molds us into the persons we need to be to accomplish the goals we set out to hit. It allows us to stand at the finish line and look back knowing it wasn’t easy, and thats what made it worth it.
“A man is insensible to the relish of prosperity until he has tasted adversity” ~Rosalind Russell
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