Today in Chapel we had a guy named Tim Elmore (google him if you’d like, he had some cool perspectives and he’s written a few books and things) come talk to us. He talked about how, especially in college, a person has to focus his energy. He used a flood versus river analogy. He talked about how they’re both very powerful forces of nature but a flood has little direction or depth and it just flows everywhere and ruins things in it’s path; in contrast, a river flows in one direction and has depth and can be constructive. He said we should strive to make our lives more like a river: we should find a focus and then we should go with it; not “flow” like a flood because then our lives will have no depth.
Next he spoke of our troubles. He compared them to prisons. We all have them. He told us there are four ways to deal with your problems (and we usually use more than just one):
- CURSE THEM (This is not literally cursing your problems, though that would fall into this category as far as dealing with your problems.): We can curse our problems and place blame but it doesn’t change what happened. Then, because we’re in a bad mood, we snap at everyone who talks to us. Because we usually need to talk to people to get things done, this approach renders its victims useless to anyone.
- NURSE THEM: We can nurse our problems until they swallow us whole. We can wallow in self-pity and when someone asks what’s wrong, we unload on them with all of our issues. This is where we get the idea about pity loving company, because it does. “Look at how bad my problems are, feel sorry for me.” You still can’t fix you’re problems like this, no matter who’s sorry for you.
- REHEARSE THEM: This is that fun thing we all do where we replay the worst parts of our days and think about what happened and how you could have changed it or avoided the problem. This still can’t help you because, as cliche as it is, you can’t change the past.
- REVERSE THEM: This is the approach he challenged us to use. We can use our problems to make us better and to get us further in life, much like the one door closes, a few more open; if you are still holding on to your problems, you won’t be able to see the door and move on.
So. Reverse you’re problems and let them make you a better person. Let you’re problems go and focus your energies where you need to and opportunities will arise.