Life is going along, according to plan… mostly.
And then, all of a sudden, the inevitable CIRCUMSTANCE arises.
That thing in life you really don’t want to deal with pops up.
You need money. You lost a client. The car breaks down.
Some circumstances are relatively insignificant, while others are profound
and have within them the power to take our sanity away.
I, for one, was faced with an addiction of unparalleled proportions. I was desperate and dying, lost, wandering the streets of Chicago looking for my next fix.
I remember one of my last days using, right before the end when I surrendered. The trash was blowing through the streets and the day was sunny and warm.
There was a guy I used to bum around with who looked at me and said,
“You’ll never quit. You can’t. It’s impossible.” He was certain my circumstances
would win – that I’d never beat the addiction. In being certain that the ones he was facing would defeat him as well, he projected his reality onto me with certainty.
But I had a vision of being free from addiction and creating something good
out of the mess. In other words, I let the vision I had dictate the course of my
This wasn’t easy. It required months in an “institution of lower learning,” as I
lovingly refer to it, and hundreds of meetings to move beyond the paralyzing
addiction that had entrapped me in its deadly clutches, hellbent on destroying my existence. I had to let go of a life and set of seemingly insurmountable
circumstances that were running me in service of fulfilling something big.
I use this somewhat extreme example to illustrate the notion that these scenarios we find ourselves facing – seemingly impossible obstacles – can be overcome IF we let something greater, a sense of purpose and passion bigger than us, direct our thinking, actions, and motives.
“Everything can be taken from a man except one thing: The last of human
freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to
choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl
What do you envision?
Notice WHO you are being when faced with any type of adversity.
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you are feeling bad…
What are a few of your favorite things you can do to help shift your attitude?
What can help you choose the correct course of action to take?
Here is where it gets a bit nuanced, because action can also affect attitude – and circumstances have an uncanny ability to paralyze us or cause us to retreat from our commitments. (If we were even committed in the first place!)
When we let circumstances dictate the course of our actions, we are giving
our power away to them.
BUT with a vision in place, we have a a guiding light. Something to commit to, a force greater than ourselves in charge to navigate towards.
With a clear vision, we have a reason to live.
What are some circumstances, big or small, that you have a tendency to give your power away to? (i.e. romances, finances, family of origin, etc.)
Do you have a vision for your life? For your business? For your relationships?
If so, how would it look to have that vision guide you? If not, are you willing to
What do you see as the relationship between vision and integrity?