For most of my life, I was under the impression that I had to “fix” something about myself. As if I would feel happier when I “fixed” what was wrong with my life or me.
Fix my relationship. Fix my job. Fix where I live. Fix who I am.
One beautiful evening as I was relaxing on a screened- in porch reading a book, I encountered this passage and had one of my biggest Oprah, a-ha life moments:
“People work perfectly. Our specific thoughts, actions, and feelings consistently produce specific results. We may be happy or unhappy with these results, but if we repeat the same thoughts, actions, and feelings, we’ll get the same results.”
– NLP: The New Technology of Achievement Paperback
by Steve Andreas
People work perfectly. We may be unhappy with the results in our life, but we are NOT broken.
I work perfectly. How cool! Whenever I don’t like the results I am getting, I try something else. Unhappy with an area of your life? Change it. Think about it differently.
Nlp, is not new. Ancient philosophers explained this and many other ideas that can help us navigate the challenges of our daily lives. In particular, stoicism speaks about this idea effectively. Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way, explains Stoicism and its value in this recent article.
The idea of Stoicism is simple – become clear about what you control and what you do not control. We do not control events outside of us, but we do control our response to those events.
I know that life can get really hard sometimes, but maybe a story of a 14-year- old overcoming a life challenge can be an inspiration to illustrate this idea of accepting what you cannot control and focusing on what you can control.
An Amazing Story
A close friend’s husband died unexpectedly. The children were devastated. Everyone would agree that this was a terrible tragedy.
In this case, the oldest child turned this otherwise completely senseless event into an amazing contribution. She created an online resource for teens that have lost their parents.
How did she, in the face of this amazingly difficult situation, manage to do something valuable? In her grief, she saw an opportunity to help. By helping others, she found purpose.
Her thought was to help. Her thought changed her feelings and actions and outcome. She controlled what she could – her response to this tragedy. She cannot change the loss of her father, but she can control her response.
We control our thoughts as NLP would suggest or our response as the ancients Greeks would suggest. In this case, this girl thought about how to contribute based on her experience. She helped others and helped herself heal in the act of helping others.
By the way, her project is truly amazing. Check it out!
The events that occur in our lives can hurt us. They can weigh us down. They can define our view of life. Often, this view is not very empowered. So we say, I will step out into my life fully when I am fixed.
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, talks about stepping onto the arena with a quote from T. Roosevelt,
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…. [And] if he fails, at least fails while Daring Greatly.”
We all want to feel better. To feel better we look to the past and what was wrong to fix it. Or, we blame others or events for molding our life. Our life is molded by what we can control – our thoughts. They create our feelings.
You are not broken. If you don’t like the results in your life, try a new perspective.
My life is totally dependent on my thoughts. Now, I change my thoughts and change the results!
The easiest way to change your life is to change everything you can control and accept the rest.
Feeling stuck? Send me an email explaining the issue. Maybe I can help you change directions.