Have you ever had a time when you looked at your situation and thought, “I wish this had never happened”?
Maybe you got a bad grade or a bad haircut. Maybe you’ve experienced loss or financial crisis. Perhaps you’ve accidentally come across a ring with possessive magical powers that some wizard is demanding you return to a far-away mountain where it can be destroyed by the fires of Doom.
Okay, probably not that last one… but you get the idea.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you envisioned it would. Instead, you’re often thrown into circumstances that you never would have selected in the first place! While you cannot change what has already happened, you do get to choose what you’ll see in the experience.
The Choice is Up To You
Best-selling author/speaker Hank Smith recently released a new Turtle Talk talk titled What You See is What You’ll Get. This full-length talk is centered on teaching teens how to choose the way they perceive different life events.
According to Hank, “You can choose to see the good or you can choose to focus on the bad, but ultimately the choice is up to you.” Will you see the blessings and strengths that come because of what you’re experiencing? Or will you choose to focus on the pains and sorrows of it all?
Philosopher David Thoreau described it best when he said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” That’s exactly what Hank is talking about when he relates the following Book of Mormon story.
Who Are You In the Story?
Once upon a time there were two brothers who lived in the same place with the same people at the same time. The younger brother, Nephi, was happy with their story and saw all the beautiful miracles and blessings that occurred within their family. The older brother, Laman, focused only on the negative side of the situation.
Same story. Same events. Different attitudes.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of their insights:
In reading this account, it’s safe to assume that Nephi and Laman both experienced the same (or, at least, very similar) hardships, loss, and pain.
Nephi appears to be at peace; he’s content with his circumstances. He talks about the great blessings and how they had enough meat to eat and that the women were strong and didn’t murmur…
Laman? He apparently saw things through a different filter.
How is it even possible that theses two people can have the exact same experience and still see things so very differently!?!
In What You See is What You Get, Hank explains it best when he talks about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
When thrown into unwanted circumstances, people with a fixed mindset tend to use statements like “It’s too hard.” or “I’ll stick to what I know.” They stunt themselves by seeing absolutes and limit their beliefs in the world around them. In the end, they get nothing from the experience but bad memories, complaints, and poor attitudes.
On the other hand, those with a growth mindset are hopeful and optimistic! They see new possibilities in every challenge. Because of their focus on growth, these mindsets tend to get new opportunities and gain stronger abilities as they focus on the blessings that surround them.
Laman = Fixed mindset.
Nephi = Growth mindset.
Now, the question is: which one are you in your story?
We encourage you all to take just watch or listen to Hank’s latest talk with your entire family and see what you can do to change what you get out of your experiences.
Watch or listen to Hank Smith’s full Turtle Talk here: What You See Is What You Get.
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