Saturday, January 9, 2016

Working with Reality

by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”

~ Jack London

Life regularly presents us with a myriad of what I refer to as “opportunities for growth.” These situations are often greatly challenging, forcing us to make choices regarding our values, mindset, relationships and actions. When a dear friend was facing a particularly dreadful life challenge. I found her response extremely wise and inspirational, a perfect blend of strength, wisdom and the skill of embracing the inherent ambiguity in life.
When I inquired one day about how she was doing, her response was simply: “All I can do is play the hand I’ve been dealt.” Ultimately, that’s all we can ever do in any situation.  This does not mean that we shift into a victim type mode, passively allowing the situation to play itself out. Playing the hand you’re dealt, involves recognizing and fully utilizing your available resources to work within the parameters of your situation. It means engaging others as advocates and allies when needed, gathering relevant information, having a clear outcome vision in mind, doing what is in your power to do and then letting go of attachment to the outcome. Playing the hand you’re dealt also means being fully present in each moment and focusing on one step at a time.

Here’s to strategically playing the hands we’re dealt and to our collective growth and freedom!

For additional observations and insights, check out the following posts:

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