Episode 169: Challenge #3: Find the Lesson in Something that Doesn’t Go Your Way
Welcome Listeners to the Love Your Story podcast. Today’s episode is a part of a series where I am going into more detail on each of the challenges in my book – LIFE Living Intentional and Fearless Everyday, the 21 Life Connection Challenges.
In episode 89 I went into some wonderful detail about the process of doing Random Acts of Kinds – and we got feedback from the RAK night and what they looked like, what popped up for those doing the acts of kindness, and what feelings and thoughts doing the RAK’s generated in those doing them. It’s all a lot less predictable than it sounds.
In episode 163 I went into detail with Ashley Stuart, a de-clutter expert, and we talked about why challenge #2 – to get rid of 1 think you no longer need – is so much more important than this simple act seems on the surface.
These episodes open up the wonderful egg of why these challenges were included in the book in the first place by getting into more detail about what they are, having experts weigh in on the ideas, and then showing real life examples.
Stay tuned because today we are exploring Challenge #3 – to find the lesson in something that doesn’t go your way.
Maya Angelo said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”.
There are lots of ways to look at life. Lots of ways to look at every event that happens to us and the way we interpret it. I’m talking about the guy who cuts us off in traffic, or your friend that always shows up late – I’m talking about every day stuff. When we learn how to be aware of our conclusion and interpretations of them, and then we get good at choosing perceptions that serve us, then we control our own destiny with power.
We acknowledge all the time that our stories are filled with challenges – people we clash with; lost love; bad drivers; situations that require the depths of our patience; health and body issues; disappointments; lost jobs; that lump of coal you got for Christmas; the state of the world; the defining of sharks.
Of course there are also moments of beauty and miracles, but this challenge is about the habit of how we deal with disappointments and challenges. One of the tays we can approach life is with the idea that everything is a life lesson. If you look at life as if the people you meet and everything you encounter are all a part of your learning experience here in this thing we call life, then we get lots of opportunities to choose attitude.
When we approach life as if all our experiences hold a gift for us then hope and faith become our companions instead of blaming, bitterness and disappointment.
It’s easy to start making up stories about ourselves and others when things don’t happen the way we want: I’m not good enough; that person had it out for me; my boss doesn’t really like me, the world is full of assholes. None of these are helpful stories – even if they seem real. That’s where the practiced habit of remembering that you get the wonderful challenge and opportunity to choose how you see things.
- Become aware of your interpretations
- Remember they are not fact – they are created by your upbringing, culture, belief system, education, assumptions, etc.
- Choose to shift the negative interpretations into ones that will serve you better.
What do I mean by ones that serve you better? Choose interpretations that focus on the lesson or meaning in something really hard. For example, when I was first reframing my story about many difficult things that had happened to me as I went through 3 divorces, I realized, with some reframing help, that I had experienced many things that gave me massive amounts of empathy for others. I had gained empathy and understanding that helped me grow. My most painful life moments had still been painful and had still been gigantic and had still often been the choices of other people that affected me, but I could focus on that or I could focus on what I learned and how I became better because of that learning.
An interpretation that serves you is one that lightens the load of stress, anger, victimhood, frustration, and fear.
I’m always a believer that real life examples help teach best so I have three for you today. These 3 folks agreed to tackle Challenge #3 that week and then record a blurb for me on how they shifted their interpretation of a frustrating situation into one that helped them learn or find positive things in it.
Listen to the audio program to hear 3 audio recordings of people who took the challenge.
Now, let’s go to our expert.
Leslie Householder is joining me today to bring us all examples and wisdom.
Listen to the audio program to hear my interview with Leslie.
I’m going to close with one quote that sums it all up:
Dale Carnegie said, “Happiness does not depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
It is my hope that you will take this challenge in you own life and start to practice it. It’s worth the work it will take at first, because soon enough you’ll get so you go there looking for a reframe more naturally.
If you’d like a copy of LIFE- Living Intentional and Fearless Everyday – the 21 Life Connection Challenges, you can get your own copy with ALL the challenges in it off Amazon. Just search my name and the word LIFE in capital letters and it comes right up. You can also go to www.loveyourstorypodcast.com and there is a link that will take you right to Amazon. The book has amazing challenges that have deep purpose in them. If you’re looking for a program or format for helping you to create more connection, possibility and self care in your life – I highly recommend all 21 challenges in the book. It’s also a workbook style with a place at the end of each challenge to record your experiences. It’s all part of the learning.
See you in two weeks for our next fabulous episode.