It’s easy to point out all the negative things that are happening in the world today. Everybody seems to be jumping on the easy train.
Looking for the positive and then taking the negative things, and making them work for the positive is so much more rewarding.
When we take the negative and find a way to turn it positive, suddenly we are in rarified air.
Once you step out of easy and begin to do the difficult, life will never be the same again.
If you’re tired of the ordinary and you’re ready to step into a life lived to the full, then let’s step out of easy and really start living life.
Four simple keys will change you from an easy glider to a difficult grinder with bigger victories than you ever imagined possible.
LEAP is your key to leaving the negative behind. Learn, Enjoy, Attitude and Process will revolutionize your life.
Learn to See Everything in a New Light
What would happen if you were intentional about turning every situation into a learning exercise?
What would happen if you began to take the negative experiences and looked to learn something from it?
Once again, this is the hard road. It’s easy to believe you know everything. It’s easy to take the negative experiences and use them to propel you into more negativity.
What’s difficult and ultimately more beneficial is to use the negative to create positive learning experiences.
There’s an old story about green tomatoes and red tomatoes. It has stuck with me so that every time something negative happens, my first response is to see what I can learn about it. The story goes like this.
Everybody in life gets to choose whether to be a green tomato or a red tomato. Red tomatoes only have two directions they can go once they have ripened. A red tomato can either be picked and eaten or it can stay on the vine and rot. However, a green tomato is still growing. The green tomato is still sucking nutrients from the soil and hasn’t reached its full potential yet.
As a human, you can choose whether you’re going to be a green tomato or a red tomato also.
There are only two directions for you to go if you choose to be a red tomato. You are either going to quickly get eaten by others or you are going to whither up and rot.
However, if you choose to be a green tomato, you are going to continue to learn new things, experience new things, and turn every negative into a positive learning experience.
Choose to be a green tomato and be a lifelong learner. The benefits greatly outweigh the hard work it will take.
Enjoy Your Circumstances
A Melissa Chu article on Medium really encapsulates what it means to take every circumstance and choose happiness despite everything. “6 Simple Steps for Happiness, No Matter the Circumstances” is a great place to start if you want to enjoy everything that comes your way.
I once heard it said that “circumstances are the scenery in which human drama is played out.” Another way of saying that simply is stuff happens.
In Mr. Becker’s story, “Here’s to All of You Trying to Make the Best of a Bad Situation”, he tells a couple of stories about people that are and have made the best out of bad situations. Single parents, a young man who died too early of an drug addiction he was born with. Then he ends his article applauding all of those making the most of a bad situation. It’s a beautiful read and will aid you if you are looking to take the mourning and turn it into dancing.
All of you taking this whole COVID-19 situation and doing the best you can with what is happening. Wearing your masks where you’re told to, sacrificing income while locked down, not being able to see relatives during the holidays to help stop the spread.
I just want to express the same emotions as Mr. Becker did in his article and say thank you for turning circumstances beyond your control into something joyous for those around you. We need more people like you.
Attitude Determines Altitude
Zig Ziglar once said, “You can’t fly with the eagles if you continue to scratch with the turkeys.”
The first time I ever ran a race at altitude I thought I was going to die. We started at 8400' and quickly climbed to just under 10,000'. The rest of the 32 miles was predominantly at or above 9600'.
The air was thin and I was desperately seeking oxygen. As I rode the struggle bus, a friend ran by. “Soar with the eagles, or scratch with the turkeys”, he shouted as he ran by.
At that point, I decided that was true. I was spending too much time in a low-altitude attitude, wondering when I should drop from the race because of a lack of oxygen.
Instead, I decided, “the hell with it, abandon all reason to stop and soar with the eagles”.
Look, we all know 2020 has sucked! Dwelling in the sucky lowland isn’t going to make life any better.
Your attitude in life is what is going to determine what happens when hard times come your way. If you see everything as negative, then get ready for a life filled with negative circumstances.
If you see everything as perhaps difficult, but able to be overcome, then get ready for a life lived to the full.
A HuffPost article from 2010 should drive this point home. “Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude” talks about being around people who see life as full of endless opportunities. Becoming one of these people will enhance all the relationships you have because people are looking for these kinds of people.
Process Everything Through a New Filter
My wife and I use an air filter in our home. We own pets and the air filter keeps things in our house at a breathable level. Recently, my wife started to get a slight cough in the middle of the night.
One morning I looked at my wife and asked, “when was the last time we changed the filter on the air filter?” We’re on our ninth month with the same filter and the company recommends changing filters every three to six months.
It wasn’t really that amazing that we slept great the first night we had a new filter installed. After all, air filters are supposed to make the air quality better.
Why would we not filter information and hard times through new filters?
If hard times are causing us to not be able to live to our fullest potential, maybe it’s time to install a new filter.
A great example of this was on the alchemyassistant.com website in an article, “Filters-what do you see, hear and feel?” This is a pretty technical article but it brings up the subject of how we filter information and circumstances.
Since we are so complexly designed, we filter information in a number of ways — beliefs, memories, and values to culture, language, and assumptions. What we do with the filters is the key take away.
The NLP article states that we either delete information, distort information, or generalize information to make it simpler.
When we change the filter from a “finding the negative” filter to a “finding the positive” filter, we begin to live life to the full.
Choosing the Difficult Instead of the Easy
Choosing easy is what everybody else is already doing, so why bother being like everybody else.
To truly stand apart from everybody else, leave the easy stuff for people without dreams and goals.
When we live life not just trying to get by, but striving to be a better version of ourselves every day, we become the kind of people who look at hard times and already know that this too shall pass.