BANGALORE: Albert Camus once wrote, “In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.” We really don’t discover how powerful and resilient we are until we face some adversity that fills our minds with stress and our hearts with pain. Then we realize that we all have within us the courage and the capacity to handle even the greatest curves life may throw our way.
Many of the men and women who attended my leadership seminars come to me after the session and reveal the challenges they face in their lives. Some speak of difficulties they have motivating their employees in these uncertain times. Others speak of inner longings and the need to find a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment through their work. And still others ask me for advice on how to restore balance within their personal lives. My response always begins with the same lesson: to improve your life, you must first improve your thinking. Or as the old saying goes, “We see the world, not as it is but as we are.”
Our great human endowment is the ability to reframe and reinterpret a difficult circumstance in a more enlightened and empowering way. Dogs cannot do this. Cats cannot do this. Monkeys cannot do this. This gift belongs only to us and is part of what makes us human. Blaming our circumstances for the way we feel is nothing more than excusing ourselves. In handling any problem, we must have the courage to assume a measure of responsibility for whatever situation we are in and then realize that we also have the capacity to use the setback to our advantage. Life’s greatest setbacks always reveal life’s biggest blessings.