YOU may not always be able to control the events that happen to you or around you. However, you can always control what meaning you give to these events, and how you react to them.
Do you enjoy flying? If so, think of a friend who hates it. Or, if you can’t stand flying, bring someone who loves it into your mind. Let’s assume you love it.
There you are, relaxing just before you take off. You glance at your watch to see whether you will be arriving on time. All is well with the world.
A few rows behind you, you notice your friend squirming awkwardly, nervously eyeing the wings to see if they are thicker than balsa wood and wondering how such thin bits of metal can possibly be strong enough to carry the weight of the plane, its passengers and their luggage.
And they are sweating (if they are a man) or perspiring (if they are a woman). That’s why you are not sitting next to your fiend by the way!
Now, what’s the difference here? Why are you cool, calm and collected and your friend is a soggy mess? Well, it’s not the plane. And it’s not the seats.
In fact, it’s only one thing.
It’s your attitude, compared with that of your friend. Your attitude is the meaning you give to any event, or anything, in life.
Different people, different attitudes.
Or, you and your friend, by coincidence, leave work to buy flowers for your respective partners. You choose the same bunch from the same florist – they look expensive but are actually quite cheap – and walk home into different realities.
Your friend goes home and their partner immediately throws her arms around him and says, ‘thank you darling, they are wonderful, I love you so much.’
Meanwhile, you go home, present the flowers and they are immediately flung to one side while you receive a slap on the face. ‘What have you been up to then?’ she asks.
Now, what’s different here? Well, it’s not the flowers. And it’s not the amount you spent. In fact, it’s only one thing.
It’s your partner’s attitude, compared with that of your friend’s partner.
We all experience events and circumstances differently because we all live in a unique world of our own making. A slight change of perspective is sometimes all it takes to make a significant change of meaning.
People who move forward do so because they choose helpful meanings for the circumstances they find themselves in.
(Based on an article in The Naked Leader Experience, by David Taylor)