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by David N Johnson

April 23, 2019

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Yesterday I had a conversation with a couple of co-workers (Nehar G and Lou E). It started with me talking about a kidney stone I passed the day before (TMI?), and as I was recounting the story, I couldn’t help but laugh at a few things.

It was then that I was asked how I could stay so positive, even during a painful experience like passing a kidney stone. I thought for a second and then replied, “Because I choose to.”

I went on to say that we aren’t the sum of the things that happen to us. Instead, we are the sum of the reactions that we have towards those things.

Our perception of things is our reality of those things. Growing up, my mother never sat at the table and ate dinner with my two brothers and me. I never understood why and grew up resenting it a little because family has always been so important to me. It wasn’t until I got older and had kids of my own that I realized it wasn’t that she didn’t want to have dinner with us, it was because she wanted to make sure that we had our fill before she had hers. Do you know how many times three growing boys left the pot empty on the stove?

Changing my perspective of my childhood has allowed me to see things in a different light. It has allowed me to see my mom in a different light. We may not have had much, but she taught me the value of hard work and what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.

Changing how you perceive the things that happen will impact your life more than the actual things that happen.

Your life isn’t the result of the things that happen to you; it’s the culmination of the thoughts you’ve had towards those things.

How do you perceive the things that happen around you? How are you sculpting your reality? Life is a lot like a lump of clay. You can mold it, shape it, and paint it however you choose. You can decide to leave the clay as is, but if you do, it will just dry out and eventually crumble. With a little imagination, you can perceive that lump of cold gray clay however you want. The next step is molding it to your specifications.

That’s life. Instead of letting the things that happen to you (your life) dictate how you think, allow your thoughts to dictate your life. Your perception of the challenges life throws at you will make a difference in how you approach everything. It’s the difference between a mountain and a molehill.

Own your perception. Fight against seeing things in a negative light. Don’t allow what you can’t control; control what you can.

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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