This week’s blog is taken from my book-Take the Ride of Your Life: Shift Gears for More Balance, Growth, and Joy. Chapter 1 is called-Controlling Stress-Go From Fear to In-Gear: I’m Afraid to Take Off the Training Wheels. The story below is one of my favorites when I work with clients who are going through hard times.
Long ago in a faraway land, brutal warlords ravaged the countryside. They took over the villages, ruining the lives of the farmers who lived there. There was one farmer who still had some land. He also had a son and he owned a horse.
Every evening the neighbors gathered to console each other. They looked at the farmer with envy and said, “You have such good luck. Everything good happens to you.” The farmer simply shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
One day the farmer’s horse ran off and disappeared. That same day, the warlords rode into the village and killed all the other farmers’ horses. The neighbors looked at the farmer and said, “You have such good luck.” The farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
A few days later the farmer’s horse returned. His son was happy to see the horse. He jumped up on the horse’s back and galloped off for a ride. Suddenly, the horse tripped over a rock. The son fell off the horse and broke his leg.
The warlords soon returned and demanded the villagers’ able-bodied sons for a battle. As the sons were marched away, the villagers looked at the farmer and said, “You have such good luck. Your son was of no use to the warriors and his broken leg. ” The farmer shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
Let’s Get Real About Controlling Stress
You can either be like the farmer or his neighbors. The farmer realizes that things happen in life. We can’t label them good or bad right away. We have to give life a chance. The neighbors, on the other hand, are too ready to take on the role of victim. No matter what happens, they feel they are on the losing end of any situation and that there is nothing they can do about it. They don’t know how to “look” for other perspectives, other ways of seeing and living.
We can accept the things that happen to us without labeling them good or bad, lucky or unlucky. Losing a job, for example, may seem bad at the time. New and exciting opportunities, however, can arise from this circumstance. It can turn out for the best — if you maintain a positive attitude. It’s not what happens that shapes us; it’s how we react to it.
Controlling Stress: Do you have a PO approach to life?
I’m not just talking about attitude or a positive outlook, but rather an action, the courage to “pedal on” when stressful things happen. In bicycle terms, it means taking off the training wheels and facing your fear. It’s
what helps you really get rolling whether you think you’re ready or not.
When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?” Human experience would lose something very important if there were no roadblocks to overcome.
The journey would not be half so wonderful if there were no steep hills to climb or the thrill of the wind in your face as you cruise down the other side.
Still, it is tough to stay upbeat in these chaotic times. That’s why “pedaling on” is a necessary survival skill.
I want to hear from you
Add a comment to my blog on how you control stress. What stories or expressions help you get through stressful times? You will receive a response from me because I enjoy connecting with my readers! 🙂 You are always welcome to send me a private email with concerns that you are experiencing at work.
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This is Joyce Weiss
Corporate Communication Strategist and Career Coach
Until next time, Remember…“You Get What You Tolerate!”