I heard a quote today that went something like, “Everything that happens to us, good or bad, is an opportunity for us to change.” And if we see everything that happens as an opportunity for growth, there is never a need to feel sad—not even for a second.
But how do you do it? Here’s some examples demonstrating how to see the opportunity in bad events.
The woman who realizes her one-night stand has left her pregnant may seem in a dire state, but she has many opportunities. One, she can learn to be more responsible, both with her baby and her relationships. For another, she has a great opportunity to shower her baby with unconditional love. She might also raise her child while taking classes, serving as a role model while gaining the education to support her family. There are more opportunities than she or anyone could ever imagine. The key is to become a better human being, in any shape or form, no matter the obstacle.
As another example, let’s consider a state of full paralysis. Paralysis may seem solely traumatic, but it’s rich with possibilities for growth. One can learn to communicate with his or her eyes, possibly authoring books by accessing an instrument that enables typing by eye movement. I’ve seen this technology in action in a documentary presented in my brick-and-mortar university class. But there are so many other opportunities from within a state of paralysis: this soul could send out positive thoughts to everyone and everything in his life. He could develop mastery in mindfulness and meditation, like monks who choose to live reclusively on mountainsides for the sole purpose of finding a higher consciousness. This person can create an artistic palate in his imagination, drawing figures in his mind and painting them in with his inner desires. Perhaps he may eventually access technology that allows him to paint by eye movements. And he could possibly get a university degree, even a PhD, if given the right supports.
Consider this example: the person who lives in a drop-in shelter with no educational background. This may seem a harsh reality, especially given the stigma, but he too has many opportunities for growth. He could take advantage of public libraries for acquiring basic skills, such as reading and writing. He could exercise in a field for an hour a day, performing calisthenics to strengthen his body. He could become an advocate for other people without shelter by approaching news stations to tell his story. He could run for politics, join a Church, and volunteer. Or he could start a business. And he could get a university degree, even a PhD. The only limits we truly have are the ones we place on ourselves.
As a last example, let’s look at the person in the middle of a war. I knew a senior citizen who was in World War II. And he loved it. “It was the best experience of my life,” he’d often say. But he didn’t do much of anything involving violence. Instead, he trained the soldiers to ski down steep slopes and led other athletic military trainings. He also studied to become a doctor, which led him to develop an ultra wealthy lifestyle where he was able to donate millions to charity. To him, war was a bundle of opportunities. He loved the sailing, learned many skills, earned leadership roles, and, best of all, got a free first-class education.
No matter what hardships may unfold, everything that occurs to us is an opportunity to better ourselves. So, nothing should ever stop us from being happy because opportunity knocks every second.