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Rising above self-pity

By Udeme Archibong

When you look at the sun, you’ll smell the roses; when you look at the shadows you tread through slimy paths. When you look into the future you get a head-start; when you look at the past, you get into a mould. When you see problems, life remains a droll; when you see solutions, life will be a cruise.

When you see tragedy, life will be a nightmare; when you see opportunities, life will be an adventure. When you look within, you discover treasures; when you look without, you discover pressures. When you look up, you will go up; when you look down, you will fall. When you “see” success, you soar, when you “see” failure, you decelerate to the basement of life. It’s all in what you choose to see or look at. Therefore, what you focus on determines your direction and shapes your experiences through life.

  • Self-pity is an agonizing trait that thrives on:
  1. Focusing on what you aren’t
  2. Focusing on what you don’t have.
  3. Focusing on what you can’t do.

Self–pity has its platform on a negative mental attitude. An individual engulfed in self-pity feels helpless about what they are and where they are. They figure out who and what to blame for the outcome of their lives. They fail to realize that the outcome of their destinies is determined by their choices irrespective of whom and what had caused them pain.

People and circumstances do influence us to the extent that we permit it but they can’t determine our destinies. People on the self-pity parade sit in the “corner” of life be-moaning their lot in life and looking for someone to come and get their lives back into shape. They deny responsibility for their lives. Hence, they sink deeper and deeper into the river of low self-worth.

If there is anyone who had the right to envelope himself in self-pity it was this particular man whose story I share below, but he refused to settle for less than he could be.

He was a hardworking farmer who struggled to make ends meet. Then on a fateful day the unexpected happened; he was stricken with extensive paralysis and confined to his bed. What a heart wrecking condition he found himself in. His condition was not caused by him; maybe life seemed so unfair.

To the human mind, he was a hopeless invalid. But this man had an indomitable spirit and became a millionaire despite his circumstance. Let’s consider the steps he took to survive and thrive despite his hopeless condition. First of all, he defined who he was. He reasoned that he was a mind with a body. That established his identity.

Secondly, he chose to be happy, optimistic and to start from where he was. Happiness in life is not dependent on people around you or on your experiences through life; it’s a choice that is exclusively yours. Success starts from where you are. If you wait for all the traffic light to be green before leaving home, you’ll wait till eternity.

Thirdly, he chose to count his blessings and not his losses. Yes, he was an invalid but he had a heart full of gratitude despite his predicament.

Fourthly, he decided to be valuable rather than become a burden to his family and the society at large. So he engaged his mind in productive thinking. Consequently, an idea was conceived that would transform his life, family and the society. “I am no longer able to work with my hands”, said he to members of his family, “so I have decided to work with my mind. Every one of you can, if you will, take the place of my hands, feet and physical body. Let’s plant every tillable acre of our farm in corn.

Then let’s raise pigs while they are young and tender and convert them in sausages. And then we can package and sell them under a brand name. We’ll sell them in retail stores all over the country. They’ll sell like hot cakes”. Indeed, ‘Jones’ little pig sausages sold like hot cakes and Milo Jones became a millionaire because he chose to be valuable to others despite his predicament.

When we are faced with adversity, we either become problem conscious or solution driven; we can either let adversity get into us or we can let it pass away. It’s all in the way we choose to respond to the challenges of life. It’s not what happens to us rather it’s what happens in us that shapes the outcome of our destiny.

You need to redirect your focus. Focus on what you are; you are the child of the Most High God, made in His image and likeness. Focus on what you have; you have the gift of choice, the gift of time, the gift of relationships, abilities and potentials within you. Focus on what you can do; you can start all over again; you can maximize your potentials, you can live your best life now, you can exercise absolute control over your mind, you can accomplish the impossible.

Therefore, the power to live an exciting and rewarding life and the power to live a pitiful and miserable life lies in your hands.

 


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.