Making sense of tragedy

Knowing how to find sense and meaning in tragedy is an important life skill. You can think back to how you reacted to your own past tragedies, and how some of your friends, family or colleagues reacted to theirs. You will notice positive and negative responses. Learn from them – notice which ones were helpful, and which ones caused sadness or stress – and adapt them to your situation, should the need arise.

Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran says: “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain; and could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.”

Challenge yourself with the following ‘How to’ exercises:

1) THIS too shall pass. Whatever is happening now is temporary. Ask yourself: How is this problem going to impact me 10, 20 or 50 years from now? This approach works for both business and personal tragedies.

2) RESPOND as positively as possible to tragedy. In any situation, it’s your choice to be positive or negative. There is a saying: “Two men looked out through prison bars. One saw the mud; the other saw the stars.” Both were in the same situation but each reacted differently to it. It may be hard to be positive, but it will help you process the tragedy more quickly, and learn lessons from it, too.

3) ASK how tragedy offers opportunity. Sometimes from breakdowns, come breakthroughs!

Read more in our forthcoming book, ‘What You seek is Seeking You’ co-authored by Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy.




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