How you see people, events or situations in your life determines your responses to them.  Of course, how you see these things is a choice. 

Nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give it.  If you choose to see a situation as a tragedy or a disaster, then you will respond accordingly.  If you choose to see that same situation as a learning experience, or even, a push to look in a new direction or a stretch to expand your skills, you will respond differently.  It remains your choice.

Accepting responsibility for this choice usually requires some mental gymnastics.  It is a significant shift for most people.  It is so much easier to complain about something if you believe it has nothing to do with you, isn’t it?  It’s even easier if you can find agreement for that view among your friends and, then, you can really stir up negativity!

Some things simply happen.  Although the event may have been completely beyond your control, your response to it is not.    It is at these times that the quickest way to regaining a sense of control is to stop making judgments about the rightness or wrongness of the event, and decide on the action you will take.

Some things are not right or wrong, good or bad, they are just next!

Are you living within someone else’s view of the world without consciously making it your own?  Perhaps you are living with the vision, or core beliefs, of your parents,  your culture or spiritual path, and have accepted these views without thoroughly examining them to see how they fit for you.  On the other hand, you may have rejected those same views without examination, too.

Taking the time to figure out what is really important to you–what you deeply value– will provide the foundation for you to fully embrace and commit to those views, or send you in search of your own answers.  Once you are committed to your own personal values, you are on the path to personal success.

In my book, What You Pay Attention to ExpandsI share many insights into how this might be affecting your life. It’s really true: when you put energy into something, and give it lots of play in your mind, it will just get bigger, more real, and in many cases, more concerning. Think about how worry affects you. You are focused on a problem. You give it lots of air time. You become more anxious and mired in the “what ifs” and potential downsides. It expands, and takes over. Enough said.

You are defined by what you say you truly value and how your behavior reflects your values. In all cases, what you do is the demonstration. Words may be a good start, but it is the action that speaks the loudest.  This is the meaning of living in integrity, when your words and actions align with no gaps.

If you want more peace, passion, love, joy and success in your life,  express your most deeply held values in all that you do every day.   Make sure that the way you use your time reflects your priorities in life. And remember, What You Pay Attention to Expands! 

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, works with committed couples who know they love each other and want their once-great relationships back, stronger, closer and more intimate. She helps them with the insights and skills they need to create healthy relationships that support them to walk together united, through whatever life brings.  Get valuable insights by subscribing to her twice-monthly Tips for Relationships in your inbox. www.ForRelationshipHelp.com/subscribe

Disclaimer: All advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, video, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her insights and opinions for your consideration only.

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