Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and a life that you love. You know, recently I came across this quote from Mr. Chuck Swindoll and it really lit me up.
Now, it’s something that I’ve heard before but for whatever reason this time it really sank in. He says, “Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” Pretty powerful, right? Because the fact is that things happen to us each and every day that we have no control over. I mean, planes get delayed, we get sick, the internet goes out in the midst of a huge project, we lose businesses, we lose jobs, and, unfortunately, we lose people that we love.
Our lives radically change often at times whether we want them to or not. And ultimately, the impact that any outside situation has on your life depends on how you react or respond to it.
So let’s go back to this quote one more time. “Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” That means that as a factor of how your life goes and how good it is, what happens to you is this tiny little sliver of your life pie. I wanted to share this here because I believe that this is one of those major life lessons, one of those critical truths that if you really, really get it it can radically alter the quality and the trajectory of your life. I mean, it can save your business, it can save your marriage, it can be the difference between failure and success in pretty much any endeavor and ultimately whether or not you reach your highest potential.
Now, this idea is something that I personally am always working on getting better at, and today I wanted to share 3 ways that you could bring this rule to life, especially when the shiitake hits the fan.
Number one is hold that tongue. When I’m fired up and I am in reaction mode, I have to hold my tongue. I need to give myself a chance to really feel what I’m feeling, to actually process what’s happening, and think through my response. Otherwise if I react and let that fired up Jersey girl out immediately, chances are I’m gonna make what should be a minor situation into a big, hot, fat mess.
That is why I’m such a huge fan of meditation. Meditation really gives you the power to be less reactive in life. You’re gonna have more control over your ability to chill out and hold your tongue so when you’re ready you can actually respond more thoughtfully and appropriately.
Number two is check yourself. So a simple practice when something unexpected happens in life and you are tempted to freak out is to stop and check yourself. Ask, “Am I ok in this moment? Am I breathing? Is my heart beating? Is the ground still underneath my feet?” If you can say yes to all three, that means you are really ok right now and in some ways now is all there is.
So for me if I get penne on a brand new white comforter or I get a flat tire on the way to the airport or if I get a text that my dad is in the hospital, before I freak out and react to what’s happening around me, I really try and practice and stop and ask myself, “Am I ok in this moment?” And so far, thankfully, the answer has always been yes. And when I’m ok in this moment, my responses to whatever is happening come from a much more grounded and effective place.
Number three: say, “And this is what I want.” So I learned this little mantra from my man Josh and it’s something that he says often in his Committed Impulse class, specifically when he’s making you do these crazy squats up on your tippy toes that make your legs shake uncontrollably.
One caveat, this tool is super effective for pretty much everything besides tragedy level events. I’m talking about traffic jams and tech trouble and lost credit cards and stuff like that. It doesn’t really apply to those heartbreaking and devastating events that all of us have to face in our life. But saying, “and this is what I want,” either out loud or in your head is a really effective way to reframe what you consider negative or out of your control.
So for example, there’s drilling outside my house and I’ve got to write all day, and this is what I want. Or it’s raining on my wedding day, and this is what I want. This little mantra trains your brain to fully embrace whatever is happening in each moment and really own it as though you wanted it, which puts you in complete control of that magical 90% of your life pie.
So I want to wrap up today with a great passage from our friend Chuck Swindoll that really brings this idea home. “Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, than failures and success, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, ability, or skill. It will make or break a business, a home, a friendship, an organization. The remarkable thing is I have a choice every day of what my attitude will be. I cannot change my past. I cannot change the actions of others. I cannot change the inevitable. The only thing I can change is attitude. Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.”
Now I would love to hear from you. What’s a specific area in your life that a shift in your attitude, not circumstance, could make the greatest positive impact? Leave a comment below and let me know. Now, as always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now. Did you like this video? If so, subscribe to our channel. And I would be so grateful if you shared it with your friends. And if you want even more resources to create a business and life that you love, plus some personal insights from me that I only send in email, come on over to MarieForleo.com and sign up for email updates.
Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.