I’ve noticed over the years that our quality of life is often dictated less about the quality and more so by our attitude and perspective. If you’ll humor me for a moment, I want us to do a little exercise together. I would like for you to imagine that right before you were born… you chose this life. I want you to set aside the idea that you ended up on Earth by mere chance, or were purposefully placed here by someone/something else. (That may very well be true… it’s just not part of the exercise)
Imagine that you chose your body, your environment, where you were born, when you were born, all the circumstances you were born into… but… you knew that as soon as you were born, your memory of these choices would be erased until after your death. (I know what you’re thinking, and no… I didn’t ingest any shrooms today.) Imagine for a moment that the World is happening for you, instead of to you.
Let’s take it a little further and pretend we absolutely know this to be fact. Fascinating isn’t it? Wouldn’t everything you do be perceived differently if you thought you had chosen your own starting point? Let’s think about it like a video game. Some people like video games where things are easy and they can just walk around and explore, others like everything difficult in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. What if you knew that the challenges you face in life, were actually put there by you? ‘Life Simulator’ if you will. Would that change the way you would look at life’s tests?
Random Anecdote: I remember riding in the car with a friend of mine, when all of the sudden we had a blowout. I was maybe 20 at the time and I loathed any kind of car trouble; I was the type that would start cussing and instantly get in a bad mood. As our car rattled its way over to the curb I found myself getting upset by the inconvenience of it all. I looked over at my friend, and before I could get out my first cuss word he said, “Hey, let’s see how fast we can change a tire… I bet we could do it in less than 5 minutes… Go!” Wait…. what the hell just happened? We were both in the same crappy situation,,, but my friend is having fun with it, and funny enough, now so was I.
We could spend our entire life upset about our situation and just throw our hands up in the air… we could compare or ourselves to others… be offended by everything… wish we had more… OR perhaps we could think of it as level 10 Ultra Difficult and prepare for the battle. Of course the truth is we probably didn’t choose our lives before we were born… I’m not trying to come up with the meaning of life here people. But,,, it’s this whole principle of perspective I find compelling. No matter what we believe, our actual situation is still the same. I can look at the flat tire as an inconvenience, or I can look at it as a challenge… either way I have a flat tire. But maybe if we try to look at our circumstances from a different vantage, perhaps we would realize that a lot of the things that we don’t like about our lives are just in our head.
Final Anecdote: When me and my wife decided to pay off our credit card debt it really looked impossible. It was over $20,000 and we had a kid and daycare expenses, etc. I really didn’t know how we would ever do it and wanted to just give up. But, once we started to look at it like a challenge our perspective changed. We started finding ways to save money and apply it toward our debt, and then we were able to apply the payments we were making to each card we paid off toward the ones we hadn’t. It became fun to watch the balance drop, and the completion of each goal got us more and more excited to finish. 18 months later we had it all paid off. Perspective and Attitude made all the difference; without it we would have simply stayed depressed about it, remaining a victim.
What about you?
Is there something in your life you could accomplish if you just had a different attitude about it???
If you’re interested in how to pay off your credit card debt we wrote this 2 part article on how to do it.
HOW TO GET OUT OF CREDIT CARD DEBT, AND PAY OFF 113 GOATS – PART I
C.J. is the blogger behind the Vow of Practicality. “Let’s grow your wealth, increase your productivity, and maximize your happiness.”