survival, energy, discipline, serendipity, synchronicity, will, creating your own reality, perspective, failure, success, setbacks, change, jk rowling, srikamur rao, imagination, courage, happiness, conviction, reframe
Do you notice when you have a problem the answer often shows up in the people you meet or the experiences you have? I find if I'm open to this, serendipity, and I'd have to add,synchronicity, are my guides. Let me explain.
Recently, I've been thinking about how I can change myself to create the life I want. You know the feeling. You work at something so hard but the results aren't appearing as quickly as you want. You can waste a lot of time blaming the economy or other people outside yourself. That's an enormous waste of time and energy. Plus, you can't do anything about "them" or "it."
Instead of looking outside myself, I realized I needed to change something in myself to move forward and experience positive change. I was introduced to Professor Srikamur Rao who teaches about happiness at various business schools: Columbia, Haas and the London Business School. His classes are so popular they are over-booked.
Prof. Rao teaches about how we can create our own reality. Through practicing gratitude of what is working in our lives, focusing on the positive and mentally and emotionally appreciating our progress toward the change we want in ourselves, we will notice the universe and people we meet, "conspiring" toward the outcome we want.( If you want to see a clear "how to" create the reality you want, watch his speech here: Google talks. It was the clearest explanation of the concept that I've heard yet. )
Coinciding with the concept of creating your own reality, is keeping the courage of your convictions, even when facing failure. My sister sent me this amazing Harvard commencement speech on failure given by J.K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter books. (You can play the video below. Just click on her picture)
Intead of talking about success and all the promise of the future, she talked about the inevitable setbacks and failure we will experience in our lives. She went through this herself in her early twenties.
Here is part of what she says:
"So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.
Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.
So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.
One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality." Copyright of JK Rowling, June 2008
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