By Dave Wine
Each of us has exactly the same number of hours in a day – no exceptions! All of us are busy – no exceptions! All of us have challenges, upsets, appointments, work, family, and a myriad of ongoing tasks to complete – no exceptions! Then you throw in life’s “surprises” – illness, emergencies, car breakdowns, home repairs- and sometimes it really feels as if life is pressing on you from all sides. Remember, we all face these issues in our life –no exceptions. You may feel you are unique in this but I can assure you no one escapes. Some of us may have to deal with more of one thing over the other but just being human, we are tasked with many challenges.
But here’s the thing. We can choose how we are going to react to life and life’s challenges. It is never the “thing” or the “situation” that bothers us or upsets us. Read that again! It is our THOUGHTS ABOUT the thing or situation that affect us. This is so important in our work lives. It is easy to think that our work loads, our tasks, our situations and contexts, etc. are the cause of our feelings. Not true. It is our thoughts that go along with those situations that cause our feelings, not the other way around. This is one of the hardest yet most valuable lessons we can ever learn! That is why some people seem to live life more effortless than others. They have learned to control their thoughts – mindfulness – and simply allow life to flow through them rather than fighting against the currents of life!
So it is not our “to do” lists, or our tasks, or the amount of work we have to do, or the situations we find ourselves in that are really the cause of our feelings. It is our thoughts about all of that which create either angst or acceptance, either upset or allowance, either fear or love, either panic or calm. St. Francis of Assisi found God in peeling potatoes! Why? Because as he wrote it was the best time to think with God. The mundane task, that most of us would complain about, became holy simply because of his thoughts. We can make any part of our lives holy in the same way. We literally control life through our thoughts. We are that powerful.