One day a rich father took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent the night with a very poor family. When they returned from their trip, the father asked his son, “Did you see how poor people live? What did you learn?”
“The trip was great!”, the son answered. “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have the whole horizon. Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we really are.”
Wayne Dyer once said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change”
Nothing in the world has any inherent meaning. We add the meaning ourselves. We go on a date and then they don’t call us the next day. We make it mean something. We go to work and our boss walks by without saying hello. We make it mean something. Something happened to us when we were children. We made it mean something and then carried that meaning with us throughout our lives.
How we feel about something is based upon our perception. There are many ways to interpret the experiences we have. Our particular frame of reference will determine not only our feelings but also our actions. If we change our frame of reference by looking at the same situation from a different point of view, then we can change our reactions, feelings and ultimately, our life. The process is called “reframing”.
Most of life is “reframed” for us. Consider advertising. We are told to see things in a certain way so we will take a particular action. Companies make their products seem sexy, smart and fun to get us hooked. And it works.
How do you put on the rose colored glasses and see things in a different way?
*Become an expert at talking to yourself
You are persuasive with family, co-workers and friends, now learn how to be persuasive with yourself! When you have an experience that upsets you, ask yourself, “How many ways can I see this? How will these views help me to feel or act differently?” Pick the view that most inspires you and then back it up with evidence. Sell yourself.
*Change the meaning
If nothing in the world has an inherent meaning, then why not create a meaning that empowers you? If you lose your job, view it as a new beginning. If you make a mistake, see it as a learning experience. If you get into an argument with your partner, step into their shoes and see it from their point of view. There is no right or wrong meaning. It is all perception.
Reframing works in every area of your life. Almost any negative experience can be reframed into a positive. You may feel you are too depressed or upset to reframe. That’s like being too sick to go to the doctor. Just remember, the sooner you change your perception, the sooner you will feel better. Grab some paper and journal about the experience to vent and release the anger and frustration. Learn from it. Then look for the silver lining.
You can’t control what happens to you, but you can choose how to perceive and react to it. So choose powerfully and be the author of your own life.