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Thursday, November 8, 2012

When You Can’t Change Your Circumstances, Change Yourself | Michael Michalko, The Creativity Post

Michalko's blog post begins with a provocative parable that ends by asking this question:
When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?
Are you, according to the parable, a carrot, an egg, or ground coffee beans?

Being a coffee lover, uh, addict, I liked Michalko's conclusion about coffee beans. But I won't spill the beans here about the parable revelations for the carrot, egg and coffee beans. Read the blog post.

But Michalko goes on:
The moral of the parable is that it is not the experience that matters. What matters is how you interpret and react to the experience. ... Your interpretations of your experiences shape your beliefs and theories about the world which, in turn, influence the way you live your life.
And the lesson of the parable: 
When you can’t change your circumstances, you change yourself.
Michalko gives two more examples of how people respond to their circumstances, one about someone bumping into you ... and why? Was it an accident or deliberate? Was it someone else's fault or yours? Was there a message to get from getting bumped, or was it just random and forgettable?

The other example involves Abraham Lincoln. Michalko briefly describes circumstances and events of Lincoln's life--and how Lincoln responded to them.

Michalko writes:
Lincoln was not born with a positive "can do" attitude. On the contrary, his life is testimony that a positive attitude toward one's experiences takes considerable effort and practice. Lincoln learned to expect difficulties, and, so was not traumatized and defeated when faced with problems but viewed them as part of the natural course of events. Lincoln learned the harder one works to sustain a positive interpretation, the more one appreciates life.
Michalko concludes with a broader, insightful interpretation of Lincoln's life lessons. But as an optimist in seeking solutions to problems, I like the lessons I've boldfaced above.
Michalko's article is featured today, Nov. 8, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Creativity Connections--available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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