Good, Bad or the Third Option

In life, we tend to think about our circumstances as being one of two options – good or bad. If we deem something good, then we are happy. If we deem something bad, then we are not happy. Our happiness is dependent upon circumstances, and notably, our happiness is erratic at best. What if there is a better option – a third option. Let me share a quick story to illustrate.

The Story of a Farmer

There once was a farmer whose horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “What bad fortune,” they said full of sympathy. “Maybe.” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned followed by three wild horses. His neighbors exclaimed, “What great fortune!” The farmer replied, “Maybe.” The next day the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the wild horses and fell off the horse and broke his leg leaving him to walk forever with a limp. The neighbors sadly responded, “What bad fortune.” The farmer replied, “Maybe.” The next morning the army came through the farmer’s village to draft young, able-bodied men for the war. Seeing the farmers young son walking with a limp they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer “What wonderful fortune!” said the neighbors. “Maybe.” replied the farmer.

We can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react. Judging every event that occurs as good or bad is like riding one of the farmer’s wild horses. One minute we’re up, the next minute we’re down. But there is a third option. Acceptance. Accepting what is out of our control as part of the plan unfolding in our lives takes us off the wild horse ride and puts our feet back on solid ground.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. Nathaniel Branden tweet

Journaling Exercise

Looking back on the last few days what circumstances have you deemed good or bad? How did you allow those circumstances to affect your happiness? Today focus on becoming aware of your circumstances and how they are affecting your happiness. Next, choose to accept them as they are, let go, and move onto the next action you need to take.

Today I choose acceptance over judgement. Today I choose to be #happy. #ThursdayThoughts tweet

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