“Your difficulty is not contained, primarily, in the situation which gave rise to it, but in the mental state with which you regard that situation and which you bring to bear upon it.” – Byways of Blessedness
It is one of the most difficult lessons to accept, understand and learn.
Circumstances are not negative or positive, circumstances are neutral. It is our thinking, our mental state, our perspective, that makes a circumstance positive or negative.
Bob Proctor does some of the best teaching on this subject, using a universal law he refers to as the Law of Polarity.
“Everything in the universe has its opposite. There would be no inside to a room without an outside. You have a right and left side to your body, a front and a back. Every up has a down and every down has an up. The Law of Polarity not only states that everything has an opposite — it is equal and opposite. If it was three feet from the floor up to the table, it would be three feet from the table down to the floor. If it is 150 miles from Manchester to London, by law it must be 150 miles from London to Manchester; it could not be any other way.
“If something you considered bad happens in your life, there has to be something good about it. If it was only a little bad, when you mentally work your way around to the other side, you will find it will only be a little good.” Using Bob’s example, when I find myself in trying circumstances I put the circumstance in the middle of a circle. I then mentally walk around the circumstance until I’m on the other side. Then I let my mind go to work examining things from that perspective. And I’m never disappointed at what I find.
During a tele-seminar I conducted with Randy Gage, he used a very good example of this. While the flat tire you have seems to be a negative circumstance to you, it’s a very positive circumstance for your local tire dealer. Looking even further it’s possible that while changing the tire the dealer discovers a much more serious problem that would have cost you a large sum of money if discovered later.
So it’s even more clear from Bob’s teaching that every circumstance can be viewed two ways. It’s the way we view a circumstance that determines it’s impact on our thinking and mental state. And we know from James Allen’s teaching that that determines the quality of life that we live.
No matter how bad the circumstance appears to be, taking another look, from another perspective, reveals to us the good. Or, as Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”
And that’s worth thinking about.