One Thing That can Make or Break Your Life.
Mindset is the one thing that can make or break your life. Control of it is potentially the most important skill you will ever learn. It is the filter we see the world through on a daily basis. It is our mental state. You can either take responsibility for it or let the outside world rule it for you.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Viktor Frankel
This quote give us some great insight into the power we have over our lives. Viktor Frankel wrote this about seeing men giving away their last bits of bread and comforting other prisoners while in a concentration camp. He wrote this about one of the worst experiences a person can have.
He recognized that there is always a choice how you react to every situation in life. This is most evident in those extreme situations people find themselves in. Those struggles for survival. Whether that’s an illness, imprisonment, war, or starvations. It is part of the human condition that strife reveals the very best and worst in us.
But this also applies to our everyday lives.
It applies to being stuck in traffic, late for work, fired, if you lose something, or land a really hot chick. All of these things are effected by our mindset.
You see if you think you’re weak, ugly, worthless, dumb, or poor than all those things in your life that reinforce that belief will stand out. They will have much more power than they otherwise would. At the same time all the things that contradict your mindset won’t seem important and will be quickly forgotten.
An extremely mundane example of this happened when I was driving the other day. I was having a bit of a bad day and just wanted to get to the gym before work. I was running a bit late so I was speeding. I got the first red light, then was stuck behind someone going the exact speed limit. I proceeded to pass him the first chance I got then ended up being stuck behind a few more slow people and getting a few more light. By the time I got to the gym I was pretty pissed off and almost didn’t want to work out.
But what was interesting about that is I didn’t even notice all the green lights I got, or the fact that the parking lot was pretty empty, or that my car didn’t break down. It would have been so simple to just realize I was getting mad over nothing. But my mindset wasn’t allowing me to process all this information. I had a biased view of that car ride and wanted that view to be the truth no matter the facts.
A similar example happened this past weekend, but I consciously chose to be positive about it. I thought I had an early morning appointment about 30 minutes away. I drove there without a problem, and got there ten minutes early. But no one was there. It turned out I didn’t have to be there till next weekend. I had woken up at 0430 on a Saturday for nothing.
But all I did was laugh at my stupidity. I could have been angry and mad at the world and myself. But there really wasn’t any point. I could feel myself getting pissed off, so I just let out a loud “Fuck” that had some anger behind it then forced laughter (it quickly turned into the real thing).
You see, your mindset has the power to filter every aspect of your life. It can determine how fulfilling your job, family, relationships, or finances are. It is the thing that makes a rainy day annoying or beautiful. That makes the snow fun or a hindrance.
The greatest thing about your mindset is that it is completely under your control. Life can take your family, job, home, freedom, or your health. But as long as you are conscious you can determine your reaction.
This concept is something I’m going to be doing a lot of thinking, learning, and experimenting with. Expect to see a lot more about controlling your mindset as the months unfold because I firmly believe it is the one thing that can make or break your whole existence.
I’ll leave you with this powerful quote from Marcus Aurelius.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.