There’s a Taoist story of an old farmer whose horse inexplicably ran away. His neighbors said, “What bad luck!” to which he replied, “Perhaps.” The next day, the horse returned, bringing with it a wild horse. The farmer’s son tried to ride it, fell, and broke his leg. Once again, the neighbors sent their sympathy: “How terrible this is.” “Perhaps,” the farmer said.
The following day, military officials came to the village to draft every young man into the army. With his leg broken, the farmer’s son was spared from service. There’s always more than one way to look at what life brings you, and for every event that seems negative there is a way to reframe it so that you can see the positive. And that can be a very good thing: your experiences become more meaningful, purposeful and valuable when you are able to recognize the gift contained in adversity.
The trouble is that, during the time you are experiencing adversity it’s often challenging, if not impossible, to see the proverbial silver lining. So, how do you find the silver lining when troubles arrive at your doorstep?
See the opposite: Every day may not be good, but there is good to be found in every day-and a hidden gift in all our experiences. Search for the positive interpretation of the event.
Doing this might, at first, seem alien to you, but thinking outside of your initial interpretation of the event, and learning to be proficient at finding meaning in the challenges that come your way, is an excellent exercise in expanding your view of what’s possible.
Please watch for next weeks post on tips for Finding Meaning in Negative Events. . .