2. Is it possible that all the pressure we feel to change the external conditions in our life is based on faulty advice since external conditions are incapable of improving the quality of our life without an internal shift in perception?
3. What if all the effort we have invested on improving our external conditions is doomed to disappoint us without a corresponding change in our internal interpretation of our life?
It tempting to imagine that the life we experience is the result of the conditions we encounter because then we can make sense of our experiences. We can say that I feel happy because someone was kind to me and I feel disappointed because someone let me down. While this reasoning seems pretty straight forward on the surface it fails to account for one glaring problem.
Think about a time when you interpreted a situation negatively…what was your experience? Now think about a time when you interpreted a situation positively…what was your experience? Does your present set of conditions represent a crisis or an opportunity, a problem or a challenge, a setback or an opportunity to grow? Alternative interpretations are equally valid and each interpretation generates a corresponding experience. If we want to change our experience the first thing we need to do is examine how we have chosen to interpret our situation because it is a choice! If we want a different experience we need to reframe or revise our interpretation. This is the power we have when faced with any situation.
Think about the person who got cancer or had a heart attack and later proclaimed that it was the best thing that ever happened to them because it woke them up from the complacency of their life. You alone get to choose how you interpret the conditions in your life. You alone have the power to convert a crisis into an opportunity or a set back into a new beginning. It is not the conditions of your life that determine our experience but how we choose to interpret these conditions. If you want a different experience then find a more constructive interpretation and you will find that now only does your experience change - so too does your ability to grow from every external condition you encounter in your life.