How would you respond to this?

I’ve had a lot of fun this week working on my book, spending time improving my Mental Resilience workshop, working on a presentation to a new client and my fun trip to London to coach my client.

After I had finished my coaching session in London I was on the tube heading for St Pancras station when I saw two blind people being helped onto the train. They sat opposite me and what I witnessed had quite an impact on me.

They both had white sticks which they folded away and then proceeded to have a wonderful conversation which was full of humour. They were clearly well acquainted and I don’t know if they were a couple or just friends but they were very comfortable in each other’s company. What impacted me was they were happy with life, laughing and joking about things, sometimes talking quietly, sometimes loudly but they were engrossed in each other’s conversations.

This made me think about how we can re-frame negative things into positives even in the most difficult of circumstances. It is amazing how we can adapt to situations which can be devastating. I don’t know if this man and woman were born blind or whether it happened as they went through their lives. Either way it is a massive challenge to accept the situation and live a life as normally as possible.

They have a choice each day to look at what they can’t do or to look at what they can do. If they focus on what they can’t do they can become victims where they will ask themselves why they had been dealt this hand in life and how they can’t do this and they can’t do that. Or they can choose to look at what they can do and be grateful for all opportunities they have. They can appreciate that they have legs and arms to be able to get around using white sticks. They have a voice and ears to hear so they can communicate effectively.

I couldn’t tell from looking at them but the odds are that they can smell the wonderful aromas of flowers, freshly cut grass, bread baking and beautiful perfume. The odds are also high that they can taste the wonderful foods they eat, enjoying all the amazing flavours and textures. They can also enjoy the wonderful sounds of an orchestra playing, birds singing and children playing.

They can feel the heat of the sun as they lie on a grassy meadow, listening to a bubbling brook nearby. They can go on holiday and swim in a warm sea and enjoy the gentle sounds of the waves breaking on the shore as they sunbathe on the beach. They can then experience the new and exciting flavours of different foods as they eat in the restaurants. The opportunities are endless for people who embrace the positive things in life.

Each of us has a choice how we respond to everything which hits us in life. It is not easy and sometimes almost impossible but we do have a choice. This couple have clearly embraced their situation, accepted it and are making the very most of what they have been dealt with in life. You could tell by the way they spoke that this is how they are most of the time – positive and engaging.

I’m not sure how I would respond to something like this. I would hope that I would choose to look at the positives and not the negatives. What it did make me think however was how lucky I am to have sight. It made me realise that sometimes we can take so much for granted. It reminded me of something I read recently in a book called I Declare by Joel Osteen which told of a man who was having trouble with his eyes and the surgeons thought it was cancer so he was booked in for surgery expecting the worst.

When he woke from surgery he discovered that he could still see and that they had found that the problem was a rare form of fungus not cancer. When he heard the good news he said, “This is the greatest day of my life!” Think about it. He didn’t just win the lottery, he didn’t just earn a big promotion, and he didn’t just buy a new home. He simply learned that he would continue to have the vision he’d always had.

What stood out in this story was that from that moment on many times a day he would just stop and look at things. He would pick up a leaf and just look at how beautiful it was. Before this happened he took his eyes for granted after this he really appreciated his sight and never stopped being grateful to be able to see.

So what are you grateful for in your life? What are you taking for granted? It is so easy to moan and groan about how difficult things are when in reality we are blessed with so many things to be grateful for. Take some time this week to look at your world and identify what is good in it and be grateful.

Have a great week and stay positive.


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