When Things Go Wrong, Trust the Power Within

Power Within.jpg

As my awareness of mind power has increased, I have learned to trust the power within when confronted with the daily challenges of life. It is one of the greatest and most resourceful powers we possess. We can control our actions and reactions to whatever comes our way.  It depends on our thoughts and response to the situation that makes the difference.  I recently read James Borg’s book, Mind Power: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. He advocates that If we’re unable to change other people and our life situation we can at least change something that’s within our control. We can use mind power – change the way we think, which in turn changes the way we feel about a situation.” 

We are endowed with the mental power to change, endure and create our own reality. Negative situations and circumstances control our destiny only if we allow them too. There is no need to sit around waiting for others to chart a pathway to success or resolve problems for us.  Embracing the power within enables us to rise above low expectations and self-imposed limitations even when the outcome is uncertain and destination unclear. 

Although we are endowed with the mental capacity to overcome most obstacle that comes our way, I admit this is not an easy task. Life has a way of testing our beliefs when we least expect it.  There were times when I seem to have it all together.  Everything appeared to be on track and headed in the right direction as planned. What do you know? A challenge comes knocking on the door without an invitation.

I recall a situation when working on my doctoral dissertation with everything going according to schedule until one night at 2 o’clock in the morning I made the mistake of pressing no when prompted to save the file and turned off the computer.  The next morning, I was shocked to discover that I had deleted 6 months of research and writings without a backup copy.  I was devastated and hurt to say the least. I refused to do any work for almost two weeks.  I had to decide whether to start over or give up on my desire to earn a doctoral degree.  I quickly erased the mistake from my thoughts and went on to graduate from the program. The experience taught me to always save back up files.

We also have the power to turn life changing experiences into something positive.  All too often when the unexpected happens, we decide to have a pity party or expect the worst. At that moment, it’s critical that we take control of our thoughts to keep a positive attitude about the situation. Bad things happen to good people, but how we respond makes the difference. For instance, I was in the best physical condition of my life when diagnosed with prostate cancer.  I had done everything possible to safe guard my health. How would I deal with this? On the day, I finished the conversation with my doctor to explore treatment options; I left his office and went for my normal 5 miles run.  I was determined not to allow this unexpected cancer diagnosis to pre-occupy my time or thoughts.  I immediately scheduled a date for surgery and continued my daily routine free of stress or anxiety. I never once thought about serious illness or the possibility of dying.

Another valuable capability we possess is the ability to embrace change.  We can spend our time fighting change or accept it. All too often, we allow change to paralyze us as opposed to mobilizing us into action. We become paralyzed by using every waken moment to fight a situation in which we often have no control. Unfortunately, situations change and we must tap into our capacity to adapt and move on.

One the most crushing situations in my own professional career occurred when dismissed from my job for the first time in my career. Initially, I wallowed in self-pity trying to make sense of why this happened to me. I considered myself to be a golden boy who always came out on top.  Then I remembered what former basketball great, Isiah Thomas said in his book, The Fundamentals: 8 Plays for Winning the Games of Business and Life, that “you can wallow in self-pity for a moment, but then you have to pick yourself up and move on.

This experience changed my perspective on being employed and enabled me to see myself as CEO of my own personal enterprise. It helped me come to the realization that job security does not exist and organizations don’t owe us anything.  Our knowledge, skills, and talents belong to us and we hold the power to sell them to whoever we chose too.  Losing the job was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

Finally, we must be mindful of the words we speak because they can reflect our distrust of the power within. Language such as: they won’t let me, the system is keeping me down, and I don’t stand a chance will become reality.  There will always be people and situations to make our lives more difficult than they should be. Our trust of the power within must be greater than these outside forces. If not, it becomes easy to lose hope, abandon our dreams and live an unfulfilled life.  Mind power is our greatest asset to achieve personal success.