Somewhere, I read a short story which went like this:
A little girl was walking in a park with a balloon in her hand. Suddenly, she lost the grip of the thread and the balloon flew away. Looking at it flying towards the sky, she said, “Wow”!
That story was a great lesson for me to learn how to deal with both helpful and difficult situations. Every situation is a new experience. When we immerse ourselves completely into the experience, it becomes much interesting if helpful and much easier if difficult.
I think the following thoughts in new situations:
“Here is a new situation I do not encounter in my everyday life, and hence the opportunity to encounter something out of my comfort zone. I should label it neither bad nor good. Instead, I should immerse completely in this scenario, neutrally observe and feel it and see where it leads me. Either this will turn out to be a great experience of life, or a great lesson for life.”
When we label everything as good and bad, we stress ourselves and worry about the outcomes. In fact, this is a very general concept. As it is said about Muhammad Ali, he used to start counting his pushups only after getting tired. That kind of pain is a new situation to be in and if he couldn’t push himself to the maximum during that time, he would miss out on a tremendous growth opportunity when the body would get relaxed and feel completely different.
Similarly, at the end of a very hectic day at work, we have the options of
- either making life miserable for ourselves and others by expecting entitlements, or
- consider how great this opportunity is to strengthen our self-control even more and we will not get it every day.
Similarly, having a sleepless night, a sick child, times of physical pain, neither should be treated as undesirable, nor sympathizing with oneself helps. Instead, one can always reaffirm the commitment: “This is not the limit of my tolerance. My strength goes way beyond it.” It is remarkable how just thinking differently about stuff produces completely different experiences not only for oneself but also for others around them.