Monday, April 09, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 6

"If you take the approach that 'good' is not an accident - that everyone and everything that shows up in your life si there for a reason - and that the universe is moving you toward your ultimate destiny for learning, growth and achievement, you'll begin to see every event - no matter how difficult or challenging - as a chance for enrichment and advancement in your life." Jack Canfield. The Sucess Principles. Page 49

Jack Canfield's sixth success principle is "become an inverse paranoid." This means making it a habit to fully expect that everyone and everything is a part of a plot to make you successful. Imagine that! In particular, he asks you to look at how things that appear negative may in fact be positive.

This has definitely been true in my past. The prime example for me is when I headed off to university to study English. It was my first time moving away from home and unfortunately came in the midst of my parents' struggles that ended in divorce. Within the first month of school, I was sick with mono. The furnished room I moved into gave me scabies. That was truly horrifying. I found somewhere new to live pronto. Over the next 6 months, I couldn't shake the mono, developed several more health problems including weird cysts on my wrists and ankles. And every weekend when I called home my siblings were hurting deeply with our family troubles. I couldn't take it. In February I withdrew from school due to illness and went home to be with my family.

This was a devastating life experience for me. One that imprinted on me that stepping into adulthood meant disaster and that undermined my early confidence in being able to make it on my own. But it was crucial for me to be at home. I'm the oldest in the family and had always looked out for my brother and sisters. Nothing was more important to me than them. The 4 of us relied heavily on each other during the period of our parents' divorce. We held each other together. We were fierce in our loyalty to each other. In that way it was one of the most important times in my life.

And what I didn't know then was that moving back home would end up influencing my decision to stay in Toronto when I returned to university. And on a whim, I auditioned for the theatre program and before I knew it that was the centre of my studies. That led me to a renewed belief in my creativity, in my life as a person moving in that realm. I went on to study drama at graduate school, meeting fantastic people and building deeply rewarding experiences. I became a downtown girl and had the opportunity to go clubbing with my sister. Through that I met my husband. And the story goes on and on.

When I think about how my life has unfolded since that crisis, I am confident that I love where I am now so much more than I would have enjoyed the life that I was headed towards as an English teacher with 2.5 kids. That's a beautiful life, but it isn't the one for me. Who knew that sickness and family trauma would lead me to a life I love?

Have you ever had a negative experience that turned out to be just what you needed or that brought something wonderful into your life?


Leah said...

hell yeah, i've had loads of that kind of weird situation. i was just saying to someone today about how my lowest of low points in my life, has mysteriously led me to the wonderful life i live now. and i'm so grateful. we can't always see where to road is leading and it's hard to trust when you're stuck in the mud that what lies ahead is good. i do try to see every negative as a positive that i maybe can't see yet because i don't have future binoculars, but when i trust that (and even when i don't), i can see the good later when i look back and feel grateful for the mud. :-)

Shannon said...

Great post Jamie :) It is quite amazing that such turbulant times can shift you to be on the right path.

This principle I find a little harder for me, I do beleive it in general though.. maybe I'm still on the path and don't yet see what is at the end. Something is there though, I hope!

Sacred Suzie said...

It's so true Jamie, in some ways you leaving made your life go through an allergic reaction. I had never thought of that before. You were obviously meant to be in Toronto, meet a ton of amazing people and do fantastic things.

I am currently going through a period of potentially shocking realizations that things may not develop the way I thought. I am trying to keep the faith that whatever is meant to be, will.

la vie en rose said...

every time you write one of these posts i tell myself that i'm going to get this book. it seems so helpful and positive. i think this is so true. my life looks nothing like i would have imagined it to look just a little more than a decade ago...a lot of painful things have happened between then and now...but i'm with you...i think i am so much happier and fulfilled with my life as it is than i would have been with the life i thought i would have...

Left-handed Trees... said...

YES...a thousand times over. This post was incredibly inspiring to me. I know just what you mean and I might have to check out that book!

chest of drawers said...

The list is long! I can´t think of any negative experiences that haven´t led me to something positive.

Vedrana M. said...

great post, wonderful...some things are just happening for a reason :)