Setbacks of life 

I read a great article a month or so ago that really inspired me. It’s titled “How I got through the worst days of my life (so far) by Shane Snow.

Here’s the article:

As the title already explains, this individual writes about how he got through the worst days of his life. After reading this article I can say that I learned a few things, was reminded of others, and was reassured that regardless of the struggle, we can all manage to get through it.

As I’m sure you all know, we all have rough periods in life due to differing circumstances. Sometimes I find it encouraging to hear about someone else’s struggles and how they managed to get through it. Not because I wish bad upon anyone but because it becomes a source of inspiration and drive for me to get through my own personal struggles. I’m reminded that if they can get through it I can get through it too.

What I found fascinating is that the writer is an owner of a successful business and due to personal circumstances ends up homeless and unable to afford getting his own place. What fascinated me about this bit of information was that I honestly would have never guessed that a business owner with a running business could end up homeless. It’s just not something that would come to mind.  It’s so common for our perception of others to be skewed. The reality is that we all struggle just as much as any other person does. Rough patches in life happen to everyone regardless of how much they make or don’t make, no matter how well off we perceive them to be, regardless of skin color, gender, age, race, education, sexual orientation, etc. Struggle doesn’t pick and choose.

Sometimes I am so focused on what I am going through that I forget that everyone I know has something that they are going through.

As I continued to read, I came across a valuable lesson that I have slowly learned in life which is not to be afraid to seek help and let those close to us know what’s going on. You’d be surprised how helpful they can be. Man have I learned this the hard way. Sweeping things under the rug just makes us more vulnerable for continued hurt and struggle.

This next one I’m about to mention is one I am still learning and it is that

Struggle is all about perspective.

We can choose to let life’s battles keep us down or we can choose to get up and keep moving forward. It’s all a choice regardless of our circumstances. We can sit around and mope all day or we can make the decision to do something about it. I know it’s hard to do something about it. I know it’s difficult to find the energy and motivation to keep taking those steps forward when all you keep doing is getting knocked down. One thing to remember is that time continues to move forward regardless of what we do. I have always said that I rather keep taking those steps forward and failing then sitting back , giving up to my crappy in the moment circumstance and 3 days, 1 month, 5 years later being exactly where I was that first day.

We all have setbacks. We just all respond to them very differently.

 It’s not that someone else has had it worse that helps; it’s that someone else has gotten through it.  – Shane Snow

I leave you with two wonderful points that Shane Snow mentions in his article. I think these three points are great reminders to write down and hang up on your wall so you can read them everyday!

“It’s going to hurt. And that’s okay.”

Allow yourself to feel everything you’re feeling right now,” she told me. “Let the hurt move through you. Then you can move on.”

There is no sense in avoiding pain because it only prolongs it. The final is…

“By coming together and supporting one another, we can bounce forward and find joy again.

**A side note: I went ahead and purchased the book “Option B Facing Adversity, building resilience, and finding joy” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant because I was really interested in reading the book for myself after reading the article I mentioned above. I plan on posting blogs inspired by what I read and after reading the end of chapter one I can’t help but end this entry with the amazing bit of knowledge the writers friend shares with her.

Sometimes in life we have our eyes set on Option A and for whatever reason it just doesn’t work out. We fixate on wanting Option A even if we can’t have it and Sheryl Sandberg goes on to say that her friend reminded her that “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

All About Perspective

“Here’s the important lesson: the labels we give people do not actually determine who they are, only how we perceive them.”

Click here to watch the video if the imbedded video above is not working.

This video is a perfect example of what the topic of this post will be about today.

The video is about an experiment titled “Decoy” where 6 photographers are asked to photograph the same man in a manner that expresses his background story.  What they don’t know is that they each have been told a different background story. The results of the photos were drastic. Each photographer had taken a photo of a man they believed they had known based off of what they had been told. The same man had been perceived in 6 different ways.

The point of the experiment was to teach photographers about the importance of perspective, which leads me to this post.

Perspective is everything. As humans we tend to assume we know everything. Our assumptions place us in a box that keep us tied down and limited. It blinds us from everything that is outside of the box. We tend to get tunnel vision and are only able to obsessively focus on what’s right in front of us failing to see the bigger picture.

We do the same thing when it comes to our circumstances. Growing up we are told who we are, who we are to become, what we lack, what we aren’t and all of these statements place us in a box.

We are constantly categorized.

We then begin to believe what is said and most likely become a reflection of those very statements that may not even be true. Just like the photographers who captured what they believed to be the true identity of the man. The man became categorized and in turn the photos taken evoked false truths based off of false knowledge.

People may think you are crazy, ugly, poor, depressed, unstable, emotional, needy, etc. but it doesn’t matter what everyone else has to say. Don’t let their perceptions of you become you. Be who God made you to be. (And if you don’t believe in God that’s okay. The point is to be the best version of yourself) Don’t let others perspective of you become your perspective or your truth. All these titles and categories force us into a box. Just because you are emotional, needy, a millionaire, homeless, depressed, etc doesn’t mean that those things make you YOU. They may be a part of your life right now but they don’t define you.

All I ask is that you take a minute to reflect on your perspective. Are you perceiving whats true, or are you perceiving false “truths”? 

Just remember, sometimes our own thoughts can hinder and taint our perspectives and in those cases we are the ones that are placing ourselves in a box. Whether it’s us or someone else, remember that we are the only ones that control our outlooks.

We can choose to listen to everyone else (including our inner negative thoughts) or we can choose not to.

We can choose false truths or real truths.

Don’t let categories define who you are.