Overcoming Uncertainty with Power

Overcoming Uncertainty with Power

We have been facing a lot of uncertainties around the world during the covid-19 pandemic and there was a lot of talk about “the new norm” and how it would look like for us post pandemic. In 2022, the uncertainties have started to shift towards our security and financial situation. With the war in Ukraine, threats of war in Asia, rising inflation and the cost of living, many people starting to wonder how they will manage going forward. This and many other questions like this seem to bring with them more anxiety, uncertainty and fear.

You see, the questions we ask ourselves leads to our brain searching to answer them so the source of feeling anxious is the question you are asking and your focus! Often, it is the questions that others are posing for us do exactly the same ONLY if we allow ourselves to own that question and follow through by pondering the answers. Perhaps, a better question that we can ask ourselves or ask of others can be “is there a wiser, more enlightened way of looking at this seemingly negative situation?” 

As we change our questions, our focus shifts and as we feel more empowered and hopeful – and safe – our minds start to create and we start to come up with solutions and answers that re-enforce the belief that we are capable to manage our lives irrespective of the circumstances outside. Our minds are super powerful and we are responsible to sit behind the mind and ensure it re-learns how to ask more powerful questions and how to visualise the possibilities and sometimes create the reality we want to be in.

I once heard a story of a man who was seriously ill and one day he was brought into hospital into a room and put on to a bed next to another patient who was resting on another bed next to the window. As the two became friends, the one next to the window would look out of it and then spend the next few hours delighting the bedridden companion with a vivid description of the world outside. Some days he would describe the beauty of the trees in the park across from the hospital and how the leaves danced in the wind. On other days, he would entertain his friend with step-by-step replays of the things people were doing as they walked by the hospital. However, as time passed, the bedridden man grew frustrated at his inability to observe the wonders his friend described. Eventually he grew to dislike him and then to hate him intensely.
One night, during a particularly bad coughing fit, the patient next to the window stopped breathing. Rather than press the button for help, the other man did nothing. The next morning, the patient who had given so much happiness by recounting the sights outside the window was pronounced dead and wheeled out of the hospital room. The other man quickly asked that his bed be placed next to the window, a request that was accepted by the attending nurse. But as he looked out the window, he discovered something that made him shake: the window faced a stark brick wall. His former roommate had conjured up the incredible sights that he described in his imagination as a loving gesture to make the world of his friend a little bit better during a difficult time. He had acted out of selfless love.

This story creates a shift in my perspective when I think about it. To live happier, more fulfilling lives, when we encounter a difficult circumstance, we must keep shifting our perspective and remain in gratitude. Two very powerful tools that we can train our mind to focus on and reap the benefits through time.

One of the greatest physicists that ever lived, Stephen Hawking said “we live on a minor planet of a very average star located within the outer limits of one of a hundred thousand million galaxies.” 

It is a challenge that many of us have worrying thoughts that we cannot change! There are so many things we worry about that on reflection do not serve us. The great news is that we have the power to think differently. Maybe you’d like to do this simple exercise: write down a list of all of the things you are worrying about and then put a number one next to all those that would likely never happen. Number two to those that are about past actions that cannot be changed. Number three to those related to the opinions of people whose opinions really do not matter to you and number four concerning personal health issues that have been resolved. What percentage is the sum of numbers one to four out of the total number of worries you listed? If you are like most people, a significant percentage of the worries are either what you cannot do anything about or are a complete waste of your energy to think about and by identifying and letting go of these you can eliminate a large percentage of the problems that are weighing heavy on your mind. This opens the opportunity for your mind to think about solutions on the remaining items and to focus and think about those things that give you a sense of joy or gratitude.

Given this context, many of the challenges that we may be facing shrink to insignificance. We are on this planet for such a short time and our lives are a mere blip on the canvas of eternity. I invite all of us to have the wisdom to enjoy the journey and savour the process bringing to it what matters most to each of us in our own unique way – this starts with training our minds.

When I face a challenge in my life, I go back to the words of Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.”
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Taymour Miri (MCC, Gallup Strengths Coach)
Read more about Taymour Miri and ICE by going to https://icoachingeducation.com/who-is-ice/