Have you noticed that it isn't so much what happens to you that determines the quality of your life, but rather how well you deal with your life? It's about what goes on inside of you that matters far more than how you measure up to some external measurement of success. I'll take inner success any day.
We all have challenges to face -- some we will see coming and others will arrive out of left field. It seems odd that we are all left to our own devices to figure out how to cope with our trials and tribulations. Why aren't we taught some basic life wisdom and coping skills early on to better equip us for our life's journey?
With 20/20 hindsight, here are five wisdom tidbits and coping skills that have served me best in facing the more challenging parts of my life.
- Always look for the embedded life lesson. The question I ask myself here is "what is life trying to teach me?" Have you ever found yourself complaining about your life, claiming that you always ... or you never ...? These types of beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies because our beliefs are a filter through which we encounter our lives.
Think of it this way -- something happens that you don't like. You process that new experience through your existing beliefs, attitudes, and memories. That in turn generates the same old autopilot thoughts and feelings that you have always had to experiences like this. Then, your behavioral response is a fait accompli reflecting this point of view. It has become your way of experiencing your life. That's how it works, but how's that working for you?
Remember Anthony Robbins' quote, "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten"? To get out of this endless loop, consider the possibility that all of your life experiences carry wisdom that is just waiting politely for you to invite it into your consciousness. So, do that. Probe deeper into your beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Look for patterns of how you create, promote, and allow your own suffering. Look for alternative responses. When you are open to receive life's lessons, they don't have to keep presenting themselves to you again and again.
It's good to start with the fundamental facts and go from there with as little drama as possible. Just breathe into the present moment to bring your consciousness present to assess reality. When we start extrapolating with high drama mental and emotional scenarios, we are rocketing off into our imagination rather than being present to deal with reality. Be present in your reality, no matter how scary it is. You might just be amazed at your quick thinking, resilience, and fortitude once you accept the undesirable truth and get busy doing your best to deal with it.
If you have any other favorite pieces of life wisdom or coping skills, I hope you will share them in the comments section below.
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