April 29, 2020

Shifting the Focus—Finding the Opportunities in Life’s Obstacles.

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

In April 2010, I was broken emotionally and spiritually.

I had hit rock bottom after being unable to overcome my traumas from a near-death experience and a few other obstacles, for several years.

During that challenging time, it was hard to believe that life could ever get better. Crying on my bedroom floor had become a ritual. I settled into a victim mindset and resigned myself to the circumstances I was in. I lost hope in all the dreams I wanted to accomplish. Seeing beyond my obstacles felt impossible.

My life was pretty gloomy from where I was standing, and I did not believe that it could turn around for the better.

But it did!

Not because I was lucky or destined to it. It was because I took a stand for myself and decided that I deserved better. I had to determine that the life I wanted for myself was worth fighting for.

This global pandemic, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of my lowest point, reminds me of all the valuable lessons I’ve learned on my journey.

One particular lesson has stood the test of time: we should try to find the opportunities in the obstacles.

It’s easy to throw in the towel when we cannot figure out how to move forward, especially when the situation we face seems to get worse and out of our control. I remember feeling fearful and worried as I contemplated my bleak future back then. Fortunately, I came to realize that my fears were stopping me from moving forward.

I needed to shift my focus. I decided to look for the positive aspects of my circumstances and any situation that would occur from then on.

By doing so, I was able to learn more about myself, my strength, and determination. My victim mentality was replaced with a solution-driven mindset. I stayed focused on what truly mattered and never wallowed in negative emotions again. With this approach, I was able to make great strides in my life. I made better decisions, which ultimately led me to a better future.

As I went on my journey, I kept focusing on the positive aspects of what came my way and took advantage of all the opportunities presented.

Living through COVID-19 and being in quarantine for several weeks is unparalleled to anything else I’ve experienced thus far. Similar to 10 years ago, thinking about the uncertainty of the future makes me anxious. But once again, I’ve chosen to focus on the opportunities presented—enjoying my time at home, taking care of loved ones, and nurturing myself. Most importantly, I’ve chosen to believe that this challenging time will one day be a distant memory that will teach me more about myself and life.

Life is full of choices, and the ones that we make determine our present and future. Finding the opportunities in the obstacles is a choice that we can all make to enhance the life we live in.


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