A couple of weeks ago, I had an accident on my way to work. I was hit by a motorbike crossing the road and as a result I fractured a bone on my left leg. I was on cast for about three weeks and after it was removed, it was time to report back to work. I have never been so scared of leaving my house as I was on that Monday morning. It was going to be the first time I was leaving the house alone since the accident. I needed to use a crutch and was limping a little bit but there was no pain at all.
So I went to work on Monday. I hated the commute but was okay once I got to the office. After having a conversation with my boss, it was clear that working from home was not going to be an option that week. I had to show up at the office everyday. I felt misunderstood. I was disappointed because I concluded that she did not see the struggle from my point of view. I also thought that maybe she saw the struggle but decided that she was not going to allow me to wallow in self-pity.
It was time to change my way of looking at this situation because if I didn’t, it would affect my energy and productivity levels.
There was a principle I had learnt from Dr. Benjamin Hardy, author of Personality is not Permanent during my recuperation period and it was time to put it into practice. He says that when going through a difficult situation you should think of it as happening ‘For You’ not ‘To You’. When you think that bad things are happening to you, you are likely to have a victim mentality. When you think that difficult things are happening for you, you are likely to have a positive attitude towards the situation which will allow you to learn and grow from it. That kind of world view allows you to remain optimistic no matter what life throws at you.
How was going to the office with a limp for me ? It reminded me that I am a resilient person. It helped me get over the fear of commuting sooner than later. One of the reasons I didn’t want to go to the office with a crutch is because I didn’t want people feeling sorry for me. I however, experienced compassion not pity.
That experience reminded me about the power of having a positive attitude. John Maxwell says that possessing a positive attitude is like having a secret weapon. This is because a positive attitude allows you to keep going even in the darkest of times. Positive attitude is a mindset that helps you remain optimistic and hopeful.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear hardship today.” Thich Nhat Hanh.
Are you going through a difficult season, whether at work or at a personal level? I encourage you to cultivate a positive attitude towards the difficulty you are facing. Below are some of the thoughts that help me remain positive even in the darkest of times.
- I think of my life as a movie – a concept I learnt from Donald Miller, author of ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’. If a movie was produced based on my life’s story, would it be exciting and inspiring or just plain and boring? We all enjoy a movie with a great story line where the hero overcomes certain challenges. Imagine watching a movie where the star had a smooth life all through. It would be boring, right? Your life is a story, and a good story must have a challenge/obstacle to be conquered. So face the challenge head on. It will contribute to making the story of your life even better.
- I find things to be grateful for. No matter what you are going through, there will always be something for you to be thankful for. So, count your blessings and name them one by one. You will notice that there are more good things than bad things happening in your life. I like this quote by William Arthur Ward “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
- I allow difficult seasons to draw me closer to God. I am reminded that when I can’t, He is able to do so much more that I can think, ask or even imagine. So I choose to trust Him. If you believe in Him, this is what He promises. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.
So be encouraged if you are currently going through a difficult season. Remember that this too shall pass. Hold on to hope and know that a positive attitude is a secret weapon that will help you overcome time & time again.
P.S: I worked from home on Friday – that same week. At around 1pm, I was going to the washroom and I noticed that I could walk properly – without limping. Going to the office for four days consecutively helped my leg heal more quickly because the leg was more active. That is a benefit that I could only appreciate in hindsight. Now I am grateful for healing and the great lessons I learnt during that week.