It’s Not What Happens but How You Respond

When I speak from the stage or run my Mental Resilience Masterclasses, a theme running throughout is how we respond to negative events in our lives. We all face negative situations on a daily basis. Some are small but some are huge. It is always how we respond which makes the biggest difference.

Our mindset determines whether we collapse under the weight of the negative situation or whether we ‘roll our sleeves up’ and work out a way to overcome the challenge. During my life I have had to face divorce, bankruptcy, a slipped disc, panic attacks, anxiety, redundancy, two hip replacements, three heart operations, rejection, humiliation a near fatal car crash and the loss of my hair!!!

Apart from that last one (although some people see it as a huge challenge to lose their hair) the others were big negative events in my life. The car crash was just last year and in each case I chose to respond positively and I have come through each event stronger and better prepared for the future.

He chose a positive mindset

He is an Indian professional field hockey player and an ex-captain of the Indian National Team. He made his international debut in January 2004 in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup In Kuala Lumpur. He took over as the captain of the Indian national team in January 2009. At a time when he was at his peak, he was said to have the best speed in the world in drag flick (speed 145 km/h).

On 22 August 2006, Singh was seriously injured after being hit by an accidental gunshot in Shatabadi train, while on his way to join the national team due to leave for the World Cup in Germany two days later. He was almost paralyzed and in a wheelchair for two years of his life.

He recovered and changed his future

Sandeep Singh Bhinder not only recovered from that serious injury, but also established himself again in the team.

Under his captaincy, the Indian team managed to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 after defeating Malaysia in the finals at Ipoh. India won the title after a long wait of 13 years. Singh was also the top goal scorer of the tournament.

They qualified for the Olympic finals

The India men’s national Hockey team had qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after a gap of 8 years. The team had a resounding victory over France in the finals of the Olympic qualifiers by beating France 8–1.

Ace drag-flicker Singh starred in the final against France by scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st minutes). Singh was the highest scorer of the Olympic qualifiers tournament by scoring 16 goals. He is regarded as one of the best drag flickers of the game.

This is just a great example of a positive mindset overcoming a very serious event and resulting in a wonderful finish to an illustrious sporting career. It’s not what happens to you which counts but how you respond.

Thoughts for the week:

1. How do you respond when something negative hits you?
2. What is your natural response to negative news?
3. Observe your response and if negative try to replace it with a positive inner voice
4. If you think you can or think you can’t you are right either way – so think you can.

Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and stay positive.

Warmest regards


Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available here (Special offer. Put in code 10POUND when prompted to receive a signed copy for £10 including postage and packing – UK only)

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