Monday, March 17, 2014

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

"Some people have all the luck.  And they’re the ones who never depend on it."
~ Bob Ingham

There are several radical ideas that changed my life instantly when I discovered them.  One of them was the concept that “thoughts are things.”
Some days are full of anxious emotions like worry and fear, while other days are full of emotions of joy, hope, and satisfaction.  It took me a long time to realize how much influence my own thoughts have on those emotions.
It’s only natural to assume our circumstances generate our emotions.  It feels as if the things happening to us create good or bad feelings.  To a large extent, life events do affect our emotions.  But the way they influence our emotions is through the beliefs and perspectives we hold.
The cliché phrase, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” changed my life, but not until I realized that thoughts are things.  When I made that cliché phrase my own, and began using it to transform my experience of difficult situations, it caused me to become a more powerful person.
I mean that in the literal sense.  I don’t mean it in some kind of metaphorical or poetic way.  I literally became more powerful as a human being when I adopted that transformative concept and decided to use it whenever life seemed to be trying to kick my teeth out.
That particular mental reframe helped me because I have a particular vulnerability to worry.  Worry is my arch enemy.  It tries to stop me from living fully and freely.  It tries to stop me from pursuing my dreams.  And worst of all, it tries to stop me from enjoying the fruits of my labor anytime I actually do succeed.

I can hear the worry in the background, chanting things like, “Hold on to what you have.  Don’t take any risks. You don’t know what it is yet, but something really bad is about to happen so you better not get too comfortable.”
Those thoughts dominated too much of my life. I’m living under a new paradigm now. The new paradigm says…
“I cannot control life, but I can control who I become. I choose to become a person who tries really hard.  I choose to be a person who celebrates trying hard… trying hard to do what is right and to pursue the things I love in this life. If I fail, I will fail magnificently while triumphantly looking fear in the eyes and saying, ‘You have only made me stronger.’”

And so, I create. I create as much hope, belief, and motivation as I can with each thought I managed to take captive and bend to my will as a creator. From that foundation of thought I strive to participate in “the real world” as a man who is willing to face hardship in pursuit of the things and people I love.
Do you see how this leaves luck out of it?  By embracing my role as a creator, I stop waiting around.  I stop hoping and start doing. This is a message I have shared with many of my friends who consult me for advice about dating and relationships, but find it hard to change. Even if you want something very badly, the fear of change can hold you back.
I want you to be a creator. I want you to create your own luck. Creators don’t need to wait around, hoping luck will knock on their door.

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