I’m a pretty optimistic guy most of the time, but I can admit that it can sometimes be hard to see the glass as half-full. Being able to do so takes a shift of perspective.
Let me tell you a little story…
I was all set to hang out with some friends on a Sunday evening… that is, until I found my car with a flat tire. A tire that, along with the other three, had just been purchased four months prior.
No big deal; I called AAA and the tire was switched out for the spare within the hour. The plan was to get the tire patched in the morning before work; this should be easy since the tires are brand new, right?
What I failed to remember is the fact that life couldn’t care less about my plans.
The next morning at the auto shop, I learn that the tire was irreparable and needed to be replaced. $200, gone in a matter of seconds.
My first reaction was to sulk or complain about the situation and the fact that it was taking time out of my schedule and money out of my pocket.
That lasted about 15 seconds. It was at that point that I remembered: this was a first-world problem and I was thinking like a bratty kid.
I am blessed enough to own a vehicle. I thankfully had the provision to replace the tire. The tire shop was gracious enough to allow me to add the warranty on the other three tires, which I should have done when I first bought the tires. I am blessed enough to have an understanding manager at work who didn’t hold it against me for being late.
I didn’t lose anything other than a couple hours, and the world didn’t come to an end because of this minor blip of life.
Once I looked at the situation with a fresh perspective, my mood shifted for the positive.
Have I always been able to do this? Absolutely not.
Once upon a time I would have held a grudge against Goodyear for making tires that are defeated by nails and glass, against the tire shop for not replacing the tire for free, and against life in general for throwing this minor curveball.
This type of entitled, emotional thinking is extremely toxic and plagued most of my adolescence.
Thankfully I grew up.
MORAL OF THE STORY
No matter how rational or irrational they may be, our emotions come from a place of truth within ourselves. However, it is up to us to learn how to control our reactions to those emotions.
Things that used to send me into a rage no longer have the power to do so. This is because growth happens within the trials and storms of our lives. It isn’t always easy to take the higher road, but it gets easier and easier the more intentional you are in choosing to do so.
It is okay to not be okay for a moment. However, it is not okay to stay in that place. Growth is never comfortable, nor is it convenient. It can sometimes irritate you to the brink of insanity, but the fact remains: growth is a necessary part of life.