Conflict and crisis always creates new opportunities, even if we don’t see them at the time it’s happening. Conflict usually calls for quick and creative solutions and decision making. There is always a path through a situation.
Doug and I thought back to the major events in our life. Some of these events were crisis’ and some were just change. Change often appears as a crisis when it first occurs.
We’re looking for the upside, the “silver lining”, in events that caused conflict in our past. By doing this, we may be able to recognize opportunities that are here now. Looking back is easier to do than seeing in the present though.
We wrote down instances of conflict from our past. We thought about each instance, and wrote down any opportunity that presented itself from the crisis. Some events are a stretch when looking for opportunities, but we tried to list something for each.
Our list is below. There are lots of examples of conflict and crisis in our past, but we didn’t feel the need to list every little thing, like peeing in our pants in kindergarten because we didn’t know how to unbutton our overalls… I can assure you that we learned how to work those buttons that same night!
- Moving to Florida From NY at 19 years of age- The chance to start a new life. We were able to leave our childhood behind, and not be saddled with the tags and pigeonholes of our youth.
- Getting a divorce from first wife- Able to expand my social circle. Met people we otherwise wouldn’t have met. Met my current wife!
- Losing job at set-building company- Forced us to return to school to complete our education. Expanded our monkey minds.
- Mother passing away- This is a tough one. We were forced to become our own monkeys. We couldn’t call mom every time we needed someone to listen to us, or for advice. We had to stand on our own…
- Quitting secure municipal job- Allowed us to find who and what we really want to be (keep following along, you can get there too).
Crisis and conflict is not permanent. We always get through it. We’re choosing to find the positive spin from crisis’. By doing so, we can see how everything, good and bad, has brought us to where we are today in life.
Think about major turning points in your life. Maybe you were sick, you were hurt, someone died, you divorced, you moved, or lost a job. Write down the times of conflict and crisis that occurred in your past.
At the time, it was difficult to see anything positive stemming from these events. Think about each event and come up with an opportunity that presented itself because of the conflict. Stretch yourself mentally if something doesn’t immediately present itself. Try to come up with at least one positive result or opportunity and write it next to the conflict.
This exercise will reinforce and assure you that nothing stays bad forever. With a bit of effort, you are able to see the positive in any situation. This ability to be positive, to see through the gunk and mess that is holding us back will prove to be useful for future exercises.
What’s holding you back? Find out what it looks like next…