"Hope is an authentic response to life's inherent, irrepressible inclination
An unconditional - that is, mindful - yes to the givens, without debate or complaint,
is all that it takes."
Change happens. It's the one certainty you can count on in life, work, love, business… whatever. Change and adversity are inevitable and constant.
An important relationship ends. You lose your job, or your spot on a team. You fail an important exam. You tear up your knee in a skiing accident. Your biggest customer shifts her business to another vendor. Your child is diagnosed with cancer.
Such changes make most people unhappy, at least temporarily. Some pain and grief is natural. But adversity doesn't have to make you desperately, irrationally unhappy.
It doesn't have to depress you. It doesn't have to provoke self-defeating action. It doesn't have to ruin your whole life, or cause you to give up permanently.
In The Five Things We Cannot Change … and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them," David Richo reminds us of these five immutable facts of life:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.
"These (givens)," says Richo, "are the core challenges that we all face."
Learning to say "yes" to these givens - without arguing or complaining - enables you to accept them, see them as they are and rise above them.
Saying “no, it shouldn't have happened,” will only lead to grief and wasted energy.
Fighting Reality Causes Suffering and Ineffectiveness
Imagine that a friendship, love affair or partnership you are in suddenly ends. You won't feel good. You might even feel miserable. But fighting the “givens” can make you more than miserable.
It can make you desperately unhappy, anxious or depressed. It can lead to distorted thoughts, self-defeating actions, careless decisions and poor results. It can set up a vicious circle of feeling bad, doing bad, feeling worse, doing worse, etc . . .
How does this happen?
First, something bad happens. Then, you argue that it “should not have happened." You complain, "It's unfair. Why me? I don't deserve this!”
But, in spite of what you think and say, it did happen. That's reality. It's a given!
Arguing against reality is fruitless. It brings frustration, grief, and more unhappiness. In the fight between you and reality, always bet on reality.
Without a clear view of reality, you can't make good choices, or act effectively. Instead, you'll seek relief from the suffering that you self-create by fighting reality.
Energy that goes into seeking this kind of relief is no longer available for creating results. So, when adversity strikes, try to ground yourself in reality by saying, "OK, this happened. It's my new reality. Now what?"
Doing so orients you toward desired results. It takes control from circumstances and puts it your hands, making it easier for you to create your results.
Accept Life's Challenges; Create What Matters
You cannot change the wind, old sailors say, but you can adjust your sails. And, to adjust your sails, you must not only accept the changing wind - the given - you must also know where you want to go, what results you want to create.
The results-focused, creating-based organizing framework that I work with is driven by a clear, compelling vision of desired results. It is also grounded in an accurate and objective assessment of current reality (the current state of the results).
Holding vision and reality in mind together, simultaneously, sets up a useful, creative tension that energizes and guides actions in the direction of desired results.
Creative tension forms a possibility space in which to experiment and explore. It integrates rational thinking and intuition. It enables you to try and err - and learn from your experience.
So, when adversity strikes, or change blows you off course, don't fight it. See it as a given. Then ask, "What now?" Focus on your your results. Get clear about reality. Then take action action. Go with the flow and steer toward your desired results.
Accepting life's givens makes creating easier. It makes you freer. It gives you hope. And it helps you flourish in the face of adversity.
VIDEO: "IT'S NOT ALWAYS SIMPLE TO BE SIMPLE!"
Everyone I talk to wants things to be simpler.
But they're often afraid that if they simplify, they'll lose out on success.
Not so. In this 2-minute video, I explain how the organizing structure of the creating approach can help you simplify complex tasks and make your life simpler and more effective — even as you create what truly matters to you.
Check out It's Not Simple Being Simple
"Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with
whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart."
— Marcus Aurelius
"Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets; then can come the best of benedictions -- "If I had my life to live over, I'd do it all the same"."
— Joan McIntosh
"We resist transition not because we can't accept the change, but because we can't accept letting go of that piece of ourselves that we have to give up when and because the situation has changed."
— William Bridges
"Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."
- William James
"Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was, nor forward to what it might be, but living in the present and accepting it as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continuously visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the serenity of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency."
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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