Super Storm Sandy came and went and some parts of the Northeast are still trying to return to some semblance of normalcy. The duration of the storm and its aftermath made for some trying times, especially during the evening hours between sunset and midnight – time when the absence of heat and lights were more pronounced.
How did we deal with the challenges of Sandy?
“I can’t take this anymore!”
“Why is this happening to us?”
“Living this way, in the cold and dark, is just too much to expect of us.”
Each of these statements represents sentiments shared by many of us affected by the super storm which wreaked havoc on our area in late October with its aftermath continuing through much of November. And each statement is totally understandable. Our lives were disrupted and not of our own choosing.
Yet each statement also represents the anthem of the Victim – the powerless person who expects to be beaten down. As an adversity from an external source, Sandy can serve as a model of how Life can get the better of us if we allow it. While we were indeed powerless to stop Sandy from hitting our shores and communities and affecting our lives, how we chose to internalize Sandy’s intrusion was entirely within our power.
“I can’t take this anymore!” Let’s examine this statement which was echoed by many. How true is the statement? Were we literally unable to take this anymore? Whereas living through Sandy may not have been a picnic, most of us in fact found the strength to get by. Would this statement energize you to take action or would giving voice to the statement, and others like it, sap you of power?
Consider also the difference between sympathy and compassion, while thinking of others affected by Sandy. If we were merely sympathetic, we would feel sorry for others affected. And that would be the end of it. Compassion, on the other hand, compels us towards positive action. We not only feel for others, we take action to better the lives of others. This is the outcome of compassion. Consider how shifting from the self-centered “I can’t take this anymore” to the other-centered “How can I assist others in need?” can empower you to take positive action for others and for yourself. There were countless examples of people taking others who still had no power in, of people with generators sharing the electricity with their neighbors, of strangers knocking on doors simply to ask if the residents were okay and needed any assistance. When this happens – as it did during Sandy – ordinary people become heroes as communities come together to help each other ride out the storm.
So often, our mindsets – our thoughts – define not only who we are but also how well we manage in our lives. Whenever we relinquish power to an external source (another person, an event, or Life in general) we give up control over our own lives. Doing so, we avoid responsibility for our own lives and our actions. And without taking responsibility for our lives we limit the scope of our successes.
So as the New Year approaches, let’s make a concerted effort to reclaim responsibility for our successes and our lives. Let’s become the driving force in our lives and for our successes. Let’s find the strength to face life’s challenges with positive, self-empowering thoughts and mindsets. Let’s claim this as our New Year’s Resolution.
Consider the Possibilities.
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net