Vail Daily column: Why does this keep happening to me?
Typically, when we are having a conversation and the question, “Why does this keep happening to me?” pops up, it is regarding something negative or a bad situation. Most people neglect to contemplate that same question when things are going well.
We all have those people in our lives who lament or dwell on why bad things happen to them, and although some of them just think it to themselves over and over again, others will make sure they continue to ask you, me and anyone else who will listen that same question. “Why does this keep happening to me?”
Let’s look at this in two ways. First let’s think about the people we know who are continuously in this situation and walk around like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Do they really want to find a solution to the recurring problems or do they just want to keep the embers of discouragement and disappointment burning so that they can share their problems with anyone who will listen? Are they so stuck in a bad cycle and so close to the situation that they really do need help in figuring out an escape route or new strategy? Assuming they truly want to break the cycle, there are many options including counseling, change in attitude, change in behaviors and other solutions they can pursue.
The second way to look at this is through the lens of people who ask the very same question but ask it in a positive way. They may ask or say something like, “I can’t believe this keeps happening to me. I am so very blessed.” They continue to meet new friends, experience success at work, build deeper relationships, achieve goals, realize dreams and live in a sense of inspired purpose and comforting peace.
Difference of perspective
The difference between the two is the attitude and the behaviors exhibited. The person who can claim that he or she is blessed or lucky lives with an attitude of gratitude. These people live in a spirit of servant leadership, they give of themselves and give back financially where they can, and they also live with an abundance mentality as opposed to a scarcity mentality. People who think positively and are driven to act upon their goals with a sense of purpose and passion will not often complain about why things keep happening to them. Instead they will give thanks and show appreciation by continuing to expand upon the positive attitudes and behaviors that bring them peace, joy and satisfaction. These are the people who grow beyond success and into significance.
The business owner who has too much turnover or whose business is flat or declining, the sales person who isn’t meeting quota, the person who is unhappy in his or her job, the spouse who is feeling unfulfilled, they may all ask the question, “Why does this always happen to me?” But the business owner that is thriving, the sales person who is exceeding expectations, the person who goes to work and adds value, and the couple that shares in a loving and rewarding relationship will not ask the question but rather make the statement, “I am so blessed that this keeps happening to me.”
Woe or hope?
It’s a tale of two stories, the sorrowful and woeful “Why does this keep happening to me?” and the hopeful and encouraged “This is so awesome that this keeps happening to me.”
Which one is your story? Is there someone in your life who needs to hear this message, maybe read this column? If it is someone who is stuck in the negativity cycle, help him or her to identify the changes that he or she may want to consider. And if it is someone who continues to be blessed, let him or her know that he or she is also a blessing to others by example and show gratitude for encouraging you and others. The attitude of gratitude goes such a long way to making a difference in all of our lives.
How about you? Are you trapped in a bad cycle or are you feeling lucky and blessed? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we take the high road with our attitudes and behaviors, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.