"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." — Winston Churchill
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Imagine that you have a pocket full of change. You pull a coin out and give it a toss.
You're now staring at a head or a tail, a singular perspective interpreted by your representational system—your personal lens from which you view life experiences based on a lifetime of prior conditioning through the five senses.
The state of the coin can inspire wonder, curiosity about its implications and what it may mean for your future. Or the state of the coin can inspire nothing, as you blindly accept it for the way that it is. Neither inspiration is particularly right or wrong, though they do come with consequences.
Blind acceptance can be like rowing merrily, merrily, merrily down the stream, content with wherever the stream may lead, but it can also lead to crashing down a waterfall because you simply accepted the rough waters without making adjustments along the way.
Resilient people take whatever life gives them as an opportunity, regardless of the state of the world, their career, their bank account, and their health. Perhaps, if nothing else, it's an opportunity to practice responding well with character.
Nothing is inherently good or bad, or right or wrong. These are all labels that we use to organize understanding to help us to make choices. The question becomes, what will you choose?
Regardless of the state of the coin, we're still only looking at one side. There are no rules that say we can't turn it over and look at the other side or balance it on its edge for inspiration. And perhaps most encouraging of all, this singular coin is merely a singular moment in our lives, not a destination. There's a whole pocket full of change left. Perhaps we can use this as an opportunity to take advantage of the change, mindfully and intentionally, so we can respond well by design with character rather than blindly by default with indifference.
How are you using the state of the world as an opportunity to improve your life and the lives of those you influence?
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Jonas Cain is an instructional designer, facilitator of fascination, and purveyor of positivity—helping to initiate and manage positive change for individual, team, and community growth.