Life sucks at times, we all know that. It can dish up some real challenges - physical, mental, financial, family or relationships.
It’s how we deal with our difficulties - the ups and downs of everyday life – and how we cope with them which helps make us the people we are.
After my accident people started seeking me for advice about their problems and asking how I dealt with my own adversities.
This is harder than it sounds, I had to take the time and think about what got me through the dark times; to look objectively at them and how they differed from my attitude’s pre-accident.
I have come to believe that my life experiences have given me a unique viewpoint . I set out to define the mechanisms and thought processes I developed to deal with my disability and recovery, in the hope they could can assist and help others.
It has taken some deep soul searching and basically reliving some very dark parts of my life to quantify what I call “my six attitudes to life”. These attitudes have and still do help me cope with life’s many challenges.
These attitudes are not an instant fix though. Adopting them are not always easy to do. It takes some self-discipline. However, when you start to do some of the things regularly, they can become a habit and after a while second nature.
Keep in mind they are not the answer to everything. They’re just the six attitudes I wish I’d known before my accident. I had to find out the hard way by trying to grapple with my own personal experiences and recovery. By sharing them I am hoping that others will be able to cope better than I originally did.
My views about disability prior to my accident reflected those of general society and meant that my ability to live a fulfilling, meaningful life should never have happened. It would have been impossible given my attitudes to adversity.
While I don’t presume to know what other people have experienced, my genuine hope is that people can use these six attitudes to help them better overcome adversity and in a healthier way than I did.
As part my own interrogation and exploration of these attitudes, I looked at what had happened to me and then sought to find out what scientific research says around the human brain and how we operate.
I found a lot of research actually aligns with the attitudes I had accidentally developed to overcome my own personal adversities.
It is important to remember that nobody has the right to tell you that your challenges are any less than theirs. Your experiences are unique to you. Things go wrong in everybody’s lives. It can be a tragic accident or just daily things that don’t work out the way we expect.
I believe that 90% of who we are as people is defined by how we deal with difficulties and adversity. That’s what we can control – how we react; how we deal with problems.
In following blogs I will delve deeper into these six attitudes to life to give people an idea of how they can try to better deal with their own adversities – no matter what challenges they face.