Reframing: One of the Best Mind-Bending Powers You Have
One of the greatest powers on Earth is the power of reframing.
No one has more control of how you perceive the world than you.
The Stoics argued that all we have control over is ourselves and how we respond to the events that pummel us.
If that is true, which I believe it is, then disciplining our minds must be the priority.
This is something I have become more certain of with each passing year.
I know my time on this planet is short, so I want to do whatever I can to make the most of my time here.
Yet, disciplining the mind can seem such a daunting task that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
This is where reframing comes in.
Reframing — looking at a situation from a new angle — is the ability to package a portrait with new material, to provide new supporting structure in place of something that seemed forever fixed in place.
Did your father humiliate you? Did your partner abandon you?
Maybe it’s not as it seems. You control your perception after all.
What if it’s practice for something greater? What if the perceived injustice is just a flaw in your perception? What if it’s a test that you need to pass, a momentary hurdle to clear on your way to greater mental discipline and self-awareness?
It’s a possibility, isn’t it?
But you’ll never get there if you cling to the perceived injustice. If you remain steadfast in your condemnation, your emotional and mental anguish will be swift and brutal.
But if you train your mind to reassess your perception — and then craft a different one from your new vantage point— then life begins to take on a different form.
Once your thoughts are recalibrated, your actions are soon to follow.
I didn’t ask to have heart surgery at age 24.
I ruminated and moaned right before and right after it happened. I wondered,
Why me? Why did I fall victim to such a cruel fate?
But that’s just it. I was acting as a victim. I was a passive observer of my own life.
To a certain extent, we are all passive. There are certain things that are simply outside our control.
But what we do control is our ability to reframe. We always have that tool at our disposal.
Armed with that weapon, my heart surgery transformed from the worst thing to ever happen to me to the greatest gift I ever received.
It was an opportunity to learn to fly as a phoenix. It opened my eyes to new possibilities.
I learned that it is during the darkest moments — such as a period of acute crisis — that the abundance of possibility reveals itself.
I realized that it was at my weakest and most vulnerable that I had the greatest opportunity of my life to decide what I wanted to do next.
And so I pushed the carpet of my life forward, unfurling it with my steps. I switched jobs to pursue a career in mental health, and I haven’t looked back since.
I decided with my thoughts and actions that each passing month would be different, each one building upon the next.
I stopped thinking about creating a website and actually created it. Nerve 10 is the result.
I looked at the picture of my life and decided that I did not like everything I saw. So I decided to change it.
Reframing is repackaging, and repackaging is alchemy.
It’s one of the greatest mental powers that you have.
Take events and dispassionately analyze them. Is your reaction the best one you could possibly muster? Or is there a better way of responding?
The good news is that you have the choice to respond as you wish.
Your life is waiting for you to design it, to craft it, to take control
The question is:
Do you have the courage to do so?