It seems selfish but it will get you ahead in life. You may also need some treats.
“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” — Margaret Drabble
About 10 days ago, I picked a new foster dog, Traci, a skittish and loud husky mix with tons of energy. Because of my theatre project, I was working 16-hour days and went to bed at 1 or 2 am.
Traci woke me up every morning at 6:30am and demanded no less than 3 walks a day.
The stress took a toll on my immune system, but I wasn’t aware.
I was functioning as if I were on steroids, only to come home at midnight on Friday seeing Traci’s bloody diarrhoea. It soon became more frequent and more bloody.
I spent my Saturday morning in the ER with Traci, covered in poop and blood. I brought her home after the treatment, cleaned her and myself, fed her chicken and medication, and went to rehearsal.
Then I started sneezing.
On Sunday I had a full-blown cold/ flu symptoms. I called the producer, who asked everyone to get a COVID test, and I got one myself. Thank goodness it was negative, and we were all safe.
This episode ended with me using up a big box of kleenex, taking two nights off, and thinking: “How come I’m enjoying this craziness?”
There was one simple question I was constantly asking myself during this time:
“What’s in it FOR me?”
I call it “winner question”, and my answers “winner thoughts”.
Yes, a lot of things happened to me and my surroundings. It’s easy to fall into the victim mentality of “Woe is me” and “This happened TO me”.
If you believe it’s as bad as it looks, you become a victim of the circumstances you have little control over.
If you believe there is value for you, you can turn the tide in your favor.
Changing your perspectives happens in that magical moment when you look for opportunities in what appears to be a disaster.
Life is 50/50 — how you feel about it depends on which 50 you’re looking at.
Let’s compare how I think and feel differently when I ask this powerful question:
Circumstance: I spent my Saturday morning in the ER
Victim thoughts: I wasted my time and energy for a dog that’s not even mine.
Victim feelings: Remorseful, resentful, annoyed.
Winner thoughts: I saved a life and practised staying calm in stressful situations.
Winner feelings: Calm, certain, relieved.
Circumstance: I was covered in poop and blood.
Victim thoughts: It was dirty and disgusting
Victim feelings: Disgusted, annoyed, frustrated.
Winner thoughts: I was interning for motherhood
Winner feelings: Accomplished, capable, strong.
Circumstance: I got sick and lost some productivity
Victim thoughts: I fell behind and it’d take even more time to catch up.
Victim feelings: Regretful, frustrated, disappointed.
Winner thoughts: I got to rest, watch movies, read, reflect and evaluate. I’d make more progress and be more effective.
Winner feelings: Hopeful, energized, focused.
See how crafting winner thoughts makes a huge difference?
Compare how victim thoughts and winner thoughts make you feel. If you want to feel like a winner, practice thinking the winner thoughts. You will then always remain the winner, regardless of what’s happening outside.
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”― Phaedrus
Finding opportunities in what seems to be an unfavorable situation will make you a learner and a winner. There is always a lesson to learn, but you have to be willing to dig into that gold mine by crafting thoughts and beliefs that serve you.
Of course, don’t forget to treat yourself for perseverance — I took a lavender bath, watched two movies, and had ice cream!
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