The gift can be found everywhere
When life places obstacles in our path, when things seem like they’re breaking down and we grow weary of the struggle, it’s a good time to step back and look for the gift. What gift, you say?
Every situation and experience in life holds a gift, lesson or blessing for us. Yes, even the really painful experiences, like the loss of a loved one, an automobile accident, or natural disaster. There is a gift there, if we look for it.
To find the gift, we simply have to ask ourselves
- What positive lesson can I learn from this?
- How can this situation benefit me?
- What wisdom can I gain from this experience? What makes this situation worthwhile to experience in my life?
Learning is a gift
We can learn from anything in our lives, from a snag in our pantyhose to a migraine headache. All of us can learn from our disappointments, our heartaches, and our joy.
We can do this with any situation too, not just negative ones. Where is the gift in a boring Sunday afternoon, a crying infant or a gray, rainy wedding day? All we need to do is choose to see the positive side of the situation.
An unlucky day is a gift
The gift of a boring Sunday afternoon might be expressing gratitude for having some free time to express our creativity or enjoy a good book. A crying infant can teach us patience, compassion and nurturing.
A rainy wedding day can help us understand what really matters, the celebration of love and meaningful connections with our friends and family.
When wonderful things happen
Of course, when truly wonderful things happen to us, we don’t need to really look for the gift then, do we?
Finding The Gift In Every Situation (Part 2 of 2)
Please read the wonderful previous articles:
Learning To Trust Yourself (Part 1 of 3)
Learning To Trust Yourself (Part 2 of 3)
When you don’t trust yourself, you will seek guidance from everyone else
Your life will be outer-focused, and people will make decisions about your life for you. Make your personal decisions based on what’s most important to you and what works best for you.
You can ask other people’s opinions as long as you are willing to pay most attention to your feelings. If you are unsure of yourself, take the time to really listen to your gut. If you have a relationship with a Higher Power, spend time in prayer and ask that the truth be revealed to you.
During my coaching training, we were taught to listen to our intuition
A lot of us questioned how we know if we’re right? In other words, how can we know for sure if we can trust ourselves? You don’t know for sure unless you test it out.
We were instructed as coaches to blurt out what our intuition was telling us, and then wait to see how the client responds. The more we test our intuition and discover that it’s telling the truth, the more we begin to trust ourselves.
Try some experiments
The next time you feel confused about a decision, pay attention to your gut-level reaction. Don’t rationalize or talk yourself out of your feelings. Go with it and see how it turns out.
You can even make a list of times you trust your intuition and things go well. The more you practice trusting yourself, the easier it will become.
If you trust yourself and find out later it was a mistake, learn from it and move on. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s better to trust yourself and be wrong than to not trust yourself at all.
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Learning to trust yourself matters
Learning to trust yourself is essential to your success. Whether it be in relationships, business or parenting, trusting your ability to make the right choices for your life will help you stop second guessing your decisions or finding yourself in situations you don’t want to be in.
Have you ever struggled to make a decision or enter into a commitment because you didn’t trust your ability to make the right choice? How many times have you gotten a feeling in the pit of your stomach that something was not right?
Did you pay attention to your intuition or did you ignore it? Deep in our core, we know what is best for us. So why don’t we trust that?
Some of us were taught as a child that we can’t trust ourselves
Maybe we weren’t able to trust our loved ones or our loved ones were unable to trust us. Sometimes life experiences shatter our trust in our self. Perhaps you can recall an event in which you trusted yourself and the outcome was disastrous and painful.
The inability to trust our self can stem from not knowing who we are and what’s important to us. Other times we know what is right for us but we fail to honor that because of fear, external pressure, or a belief that we are not worthy.
Sometimes we do make decisions that don’t turn out as planned
I once signed up for tap dance lessons because I was sure I was going to love it. As a child, I had always wanted to learn tap dancing. Within the first two lessons, I knew I didn’t like it.
Learning to tap dance was hard and boring. I did not have the desire I thought I had. It is fun to watch, but tap dancing was not for me.
Learning To Trust Yourself (Part 2 of 3)
Learning To Trust Yourself (Part 3 of 3)
Do not dare to miss out the wonderful first and second part.
One of the most powerful learning questions we use is “Why?” Why is the question of the curious. Continuous learners remain curious about people, places, important and mundane things as well.
They are adding to their knowledge and perspective by cultivating their curiosity. They also do an exercise to important part of our learning brain at the same time.
Learn in multiple ways
In school we learned in a limited number of ways. Unfortunately it leaves some people with a limited view of learning. Continuous learners know that they can learn by reading, by listening, by trying, through others, with a mentor, etc.
Something magical happens when you teach someone something – you suddenly understand it better yourself. Continuous learners teach others. Not just to help the other person. Nor to show them how much they know. But mainly because they know it helps them deepen their mastery of their own learning.
How to Use This List
Now that you have read this far I hope you are convinced of how valuable it can be to be a more active learner. You have also read a list of characteristics. Now that you have read that list of characteristics, I’d like you to read it again. As you read it ask yourself these questions:
- How well do I stack up against these behaviors?
- Which ones would I like to get better at?
- Who do I know that is exceptionally good at each of these characteristics?
- How can I learn these traits and habits from those I know who are better at them than I?
Your answers to these four questions and the action that you take will put you on the road to being a more continuous and life-long learner.
Enjoy your journey.
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Do not miss out the magnificent first part.
If lifelong learning doesn’t necessarily mean the professional college student. If it doesn’t require us to be the person who was always asking questions in every class we ever attended. Then what are the behaviors that make up a true continuous or lifelong learner?
There are some common threads among those who actively are learning and growing as professionals (and humans). Life-long, continuous learners:
Have a beginner’s mindset
If you approach anything with the mindset of an expert, you will learn nothing. With the expert’s mind, you are looking for confirmation and validation of what you already know.
A beginner on the other hand, looks constantly for one new tidbit. Or maybe one or more ways to expand on their current expertise. In other words, expert or not, they don’t think that way. They know that only with an open, beginners mind, can they benefit from the learning opportunity.
“To make knowledge productive we will have to learn to see both forest and tree. We will have to learn to connect.”
– Peter Drucker, famous and influential management thinker
Continuous learners do that. They continue to think about what they have learned in one part of their life. On how it relates to and connects with challenges, problems, opportunities and situations that occur in other parts of their life.
Be flexible and adaptable
Learning requires change. Continuous learners realize that they must be willing to adapt and change if they want to grow.
Always learning something new
Continuous learners learn new things “just because.” They’ve always wanted to play guitar, so they take lessons. They want to ride a unicycle, so they try it and learn how to quilt.
They learn a new language. People don’t invest the time required just so they can play “Bohemian Rhapsody” or say “good morning” in Chinese. They also do it because they realize that our brains are like muscles. The more we exercise them the stronger they will be.
Continue reading the last part.