Perhaps my teacher, Tony Robbins, was the one who opened my mind on the idea of choosing a different and more helpful and even healthy perspective rather than accepting fear, despair, and the practicing of denial. He used a few simple questions to do this. Here’s two of them:
1. What is great about this problem?
2. If there could be something great about this problem, what might they be?
Number two is after the typical denial that there isn’t anything great about the problem. He calls these Problem Solving Questions, and they are on page 201 of his great book, Awaken the Giant Within. The book was published in 1991 and ever since reading it way back when and I am faced with a situation that is commonly responded to with pity, or feeling sorry for myself, or fear, I would remember that I don’t have to follow the norm of how the majority might respond to one of these events. No, I can choose to respond differently. I cannot express with enough enthusiasm how empowering this has been for me.
Death is the biggest fear in life for most everyone, and when someone close to you dies, you’re supposed to mourn and feel sadness, cry, seek the sympathy of close friends, and more. That’s what we’re taught; albeit, mostly by copying what we see of our parents or on TV, etc. But, there are so many other choices than this.
The same is true with any major life event, such as a diagnosis of a major disease, or so-called incurable disease. As the one getting this news, we could choose the typical responses we’ve seen on TV or in our family, or we could choose something else entirely. There is no requirement to be sad. Equally, there is no requirement to be happy. We get to choose how we will feel in any situation. We can go with what we’ve learned, or go on auto-pilot with the norm, or we can begin a celebration instead.
Michael A. Singer said it this way: “The natural ups and downs of life can either generate personal growth or create personal fears. Which of these dominates is completely dependent upon how we view change. Change can be viewed as either exciting or frightening, but regardless of how we view it, we must all face the fact that change is the very nature of life.”
The more I learn about life, the more fascinated I become. It seems to me that there are things I can control, and things that I cannot, but there is one thing I can always control, and that is my perspective, how I view an event, situation, person, or thing. In this way, my feelings become a guide to know what my thoughts are meaning to me.
We all get to choose our perspective. Choosing the norm is fine. Being sad is fine. Being upset is fine. It is all fine. As well, choosing to think and feel different than the norm is fine too. They are all real. And, the best part of that reality is that we all get to choose as we will.
One of the best questions that I think we could ask is this: If I were given six months to live, how would I choose to think and feel about this? What would I choose to do? How would I live the rest of my life?
What if I got excited? What if this caused me to realize what is really important in my life? What if what I’ve been doing was not nearly so important as I thought? What if I changed? When you have six months to live, would you spend that time in fear and despair? Wouldn’t it be so much better to get excited?
Sometimes Getting Excited IS The Cure.
Spread Some Joy Today–by falling in love with yourself and your life. What a glorious day that will be!