Hard is Subjective

A wise woman once said, “The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg.” These wise words can pertain to all challenges, obstacles, and trauma of our life. Take an adult that was picked on at school all their lives, as an example. They were called names, ridiculed, and was constantly in search of their safe place in school. For all sakes and purposes, they could easily adopt an attitude that “it is because I was picked on as a kid, that I have a hard time making relationships today.” But is this the only attitude he could adopt? NO. All stories are not all bad. In all stories, there are good moments, and there are bad moments. Our perspective and facts (good or bad) that we tend to focus on, is our choice; and that choice is always predicated on our present goal. How we view our past will always tend to focus on the facts that serve our present goal. For example, if our man in the previous example has a present goal to not to get hurt again by others, then he will tend to focus on the horrible events of his childhood; ¬†to reaffirm that “most people are mean, and that is why I can’t trust anyone.” BUT if his present goal could be to make loving relationships, and to be happy, he can choose to look for those moments that reminded him that people are good. This is one of the fundamental principles of Adlerian psychology. Past traumas have a strong influence on how we think today, but how we think moving forward, is not determined by it. Not only can we choose to view the past differently, but we can choose to learn new information, and apply that new information to grow. For example, if our man realized as an adult that most people that are bullies tend to be coping with their own insecurities, this can allow him to see the humanity in all people, instead of just good guys and bad guys. Many of us get stuck in a mindset that we really want to change, but can’t. Consider your present goals. It really is that simple. Not easy. Just simple. – Coach John

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