“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
~George Bernard Shaw.
Powerful in sight is this fact that stands eternally: individuals can design their perceptions of life, but the default is to complain about what’s not going right as opposed to capitalising on the ever-present possibilities.
It’d fair to say most people don’t like their day work. By custom and nature we loath work and love time off. Another generalisation is we see decisions going against us as attacks but when decisions go against others it’s just how life goes or we see how they ‘deserved’ it.
Yet, the circumstances conspire against no one. They lay idle and open to our attribution.
Skills of Momentary Reflection
The key is converting our frustrated anger, bubbling away just below the surface, into peace via patience. Emotional intelligence requires understanding how circumstances impinge on personal peace and compensating in the moment. This results in perspective and control.
Getting there to turn the frustration into peace is a skill.
A worthy interjection: most people are either blind to the need to address their frustrated attitudes or they’re defiant, demanding the world change for them. Of course, this is insane thinking. Still, that’s average humanity.
Instead of the default there’s a better, smarter option. It involves using the higher mind. That is, the ability to pause and think as the moments occur—a learned skill of sacrificial patience. Rather than reacting without thought (using the lower mind), engendering a seconds-later regret, it’s better to wait, and even to be perceived as being a little slow.
From Responding to Creating
As emotional room is freed up by the use of wise and constructive thought processes, through not seeing circumstances as offensive but just as they are, that positive energy can be translated into space for creative response.
This is equated to confidence because peace is witnessed as a personal benefit from conquering the situation.
Any negative that’s really well handled provides the springboard for a responsive positive.
The bad situation we found ourselves in—the one we faced and patiently overcame—is the very thing that drives our confidence for a better possibility. It is burgeoning confidence placed in a seminary—the open mind—brought to a fuller maturity.
This principle is biblical. To paraphrase Jesus, “Take heart, I have overcome your situations.” (John 16:33)
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.