3 A’s you can control in any uncontrollable circumstances


Almost a year ago, I started on my GroupX journey and began to shadow/team-teach Les Mills BodyCombat in a local gym.  The journey was exhilarating as I was doing something I love and I was able to share it with many other people.  Also, my health and fitness were at a level that I could work out for many hours and get back at it the next day.

While that was going on, it was also the annual Christmas drama production and I was cast as the Giant in the show.  As a Giant, I had to train myself to wear stilts throughout the show.  Stilt walking isn’t exactly the easiest craft and I had less than a month to master the art, at least to last me for three days.

Because of the many rehearsals and shows, by the end of December, I had over-strained my knees and as a result I had to drop out of team-teaching for many months.  To have to sacrifice one passion because of another is always a tough thing to do.  To top things off, during that season, I had practically little or no support and I had to tide through the season.

The saving grace of the story was that six months after I recovered, I was finally able to get back to shadow and team-teach once again in the same gym.  This time, however, I had lost much strength and stamina over the few months of recovery and I had to start building my fitness all over again, in order to get back to the level I once was.  The thought of giving up often haunted me over and over, and anyone who were in the journey before know it is always an uphill battle.

Over the past 12 months, I had learnt that there are many uncontrollable circumstances in our lives, some of which we put ourselves into by choice unfortunately.  However, no matter how many uncontrollable circumstances we may be in, there are certainly things we are able to control.  I have 3 A’s that we can control in any uncontrollable circumstances.

1. Attention

Have you ever wondered why we have two eyes instead of one?  Each eye sees the world from a different angle, creating slightly different pictures.  The brain combines these two pictures into a single, three-dimensional image called binocular vision.  What does this got to do with “attention”?  Everything!

When we focus both our vision in both eyes into one, we get a single-focused, 3D image.  If our attention is divided, our vision will always be confused and different from reality.  Also, what we get is always a 2D image which is often misperceived and inaccurate.  As such, when we put our attention together as one, we control what we see of the uncontrollable and we decide how we want to perceive that circumstance.

Your attention is the door and solution to any problems you might face.  When it is divided, we are always presented with two doors and we will always be in a fixed which door to choose.  When it is focused on the right vision, the door to our solution is always clear with our positive instincts.

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.
Marla Gibbs 

2. Attitude

Businessdictionary.com describes “attitude” as a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation.  Attitude influences an individual’s influences, an individual’s choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards.  In short, when we say attitude is everything, attitude is really everything in our life.

I don’t know about you, but I have found that when I’m faced with uncontrollable circumstances, the easiest default attitude is to be negative over what is happening.  Things are beyond me and there is little or nothing I can do.  What’s worse is when the circumstances turn every worse no matter what decisions I make.  Everything seems to spiral downwards just like a speeding car that had lost its control over the steering wheel.

When we are in that situation, the only thing to do is to reboot your attitude.  In motorsports, a pit stop is where a racing vehicle stops in the pits during a race for refuelling, new tires, repairs, mechanical adjustments, a driver change, or any combination of the above.  When we find ourselves in that rut where our attitude sours, it is time to turn into our pit stop and change tune up our attitude.

A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.

3. Approach

Alongside a river, an oak tree and a patch of reeds grew side-by-side.  The oak tree was strong and proud; its enormous trunk and branches reaching far above the tops of the slender reeds below.  One day, a great storm came from across the river, and the strong winds blew with all their might.  The oak tree, as strong as it was, was toppled over by the winds, but much to the dismay of the oak tree, the reeds were still standing.  The reeds replied calmly, “We were not blown over because we were flexible and moved with the wind. Although you are strong, you fought against the wind and lost.”

The first thing we feel when we are in an uncontrollable circumstances is the inability to change or make decisions.  That may be true of the conditions and considerations in the circumstances, but we are never left without the ability to change and be flexible in our approach.  Just because the river is flowing in one direction doesn’t mean we cannot steer the boat.  Whichever decisions we make, no matter how small, will always make a significant difference in time.  The 1 degree of change will result in a totally different direction, if we were to stay committed to our decisions and flexible to our approach.

New ideas stir from every corner. They show up disguised innocently as interruptions, contradictions and embarrasing dilemmas. Beware of total strangers and friends alike who shower you with comfortable sameness, and remain open to those who make you uneasy, for they are the true messengers of the future.

Rob Lebow

Live Out!

3 A’s you can control in any uncontrollable circumstances

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