My last two blogs were presented through my eyes: Living my life according to “pay it forward”… and Hold Space (for yourself first), and then I recalled a different perspective–that what I have suggested in these blogs may not only be impossible, but may be even dangerous.
Permit me first to state that I have seen the excellent results of utilizing Positive Psychology, and that I am known in my everyday life to be way too optimistic, but note that I have “faith” in “hope.”
A client of mine responded to my blogs personally during one of our sessions, and our discussion reminded me of this past client – this different perspective. This previous client’s perspective was from an opposite extreme of my own. Where I may be too optimistic, he would present information from a defeated attitude, which was very understandable due to his circumstances.
His previous perspective:
Why would I care what other people want or need? I’m barely able to keep my head above water and you are asking me to give to others? I don’t even have time in my day to pee and you want me to consider someone else’s path or even buy the person behind me in line at the store their coffee?
I just want my life to get better. I was laid off and now I am looking at losing my house and car because no one can pay me what I was making for the last ten years? I was taught to find someone who has succeeded in my field and just copy how they did things. Why re-invent the wheel? And from my understanding that is how we have been doing things for centuries…in our educational systems, our government, our religions, business, we just do what we are told and everything will turn out okay.
So for me to follow my dreams would be going against the norm, in fact it would do just the opposite of benefiting, for it would cause conflict with my job, parents, relationships, money, and you want me to believe in a different future? It’s a jungle out there and only the fittest will survive (repeating his father’s words). So I need to step on and crush whoever gets in my way because I’m not going to be one of the casualties. Why would I step out of the norm only to be crushed by the majority? Why would I even risk it?
Back then I remember thinking: “WOW!” during our sessions. Remember, I am coming from the opposite extreme (Ms. Optimism here).
So after this recent conversation, and I had some time to reflect…I recalled times in my own life where I had a defeatist attitude. So what happened? What was different? What changed my path and gave me “faith” in “hope.” The difference? My faith enabled “hope” to pull myself out of those many deep, dark holes. I know this sounds corny after reflecting on this from a defeated perspective, but it’s true. I knew in my heart during those times, my faith, that things had to be better than where I was. I held onto my faith. I knew I was a good person and that I deserved and could enjoy all that the world had to offer, all the beauty, all the wonders, the journeys, the people.
So I asked you, the reader, that if you have only an inkling of this defeated perspective, to just think about holding onto “hope.” To strive to see the best in people, in the world, instead of the worse. To understand that no matter where you come from, no matter where you were raised, or how you were raised, that your perspective, your faith, is going to continue you on your current path and you may not want this. In the movie, Tomorrowland, the leading actress shares a Cherokee Proverb: There is a battle of two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.
Which wolf wins? THE ONE YOU FEED.
So all I can ask is to have “faith” in “hope” and start feeding the “good” wolf. Just small steps can make a big difference in changing the path you are on.
What is your perspective? Do you agree or disagree? What would you suggest? Please share as I truly believe that “different views create broader horizons!”