Famous scientist Charles Darwin has confirmed that it is, indeed, the most adaptive one who survives best, in the sense that his/her genes prevail and are passed down to the following generations. In my opinion, being adaptive is connected with so much more than just the biological sense of the word. Adaptation is the ability to accept the rapid changes of your environment and embrace them. Therefore, it is a positive mindset regarding the occurrences of each day.
In theory, is it very easy to acquire a positive attitude, but when the road gets darker, finding the light is tougher. It is easy to whine, place the blame on someone else and be angry, or refuse to deal with the new situation. The only way to get out of this deep dark hole you are digging for yourself called denial, is to view this change of plans as an opportunity. An opportunity to make the best out of something you did not expect. If you focus on the positive elements of your mishap, you will manage to pull through. At the same time, you will be one step higher on the ladder of personal self-growth.
Life in general is a matter of how you view things. People like to believe that things happen for a reason, either there is a God supervising the earth, or a karma system that ensures there is fairness, or that the unknown factor of luck plays its own game. Personally, I believe that when you feel ready to handle whatever life throws at you, you manage to evolve. Whether you rely solely on yourself, your personal beliefs, or other people’s support is your own matter.
All these thoughts may sound very idealistic and romantic, but I firmly support that when you realize how you operate and what pushes you forward, you need to put this knowledge into use, for your own good. Of course there will be crying, yelling, annoyance whenever things do not work out, since we are only humans after all. The goal is to contain these feelings of disappointment in a few moments and not carry them for your whole life.
My personal way of achieving this, is imagining myself looking outside the window of a moving car, while there is music playing in the background. The scenery flashes before my eyes in a blur, the wind caresses my face and everything feels distant. The calming effect of my so called happy place is based on my realization that whatever happens does not signal the end of the world. Just thinking about the future chances and opportunities waiting to be seized, it makes me want to conquer them all.
This is why I believe that the one who adapts is not necessarily the only one who survives, but s/he is definitely the one who enjoys life. When you have realized that life is constantly moving forward, without looking back to see if you like the destination, this is when you have to find ways to enjoy the ride. Do not pout like a little child that didn’t get one’s favorite chocolate ice cream, because if you don’t try other flavors, you will never find out if you might have liked them.
Being positive goes hand in hand with being adaptive and both traits will make navigating through life so much easier. They say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I say, if you don’t like lemonade, use them to plant a whole garden of lemons to give as a present, to profit from, or whatever makes you happy. Having a positive mindset will make you receive happiness from the things you choose to do and find the good elements in a situation that originally seems destructive.
This is how I interpret the meaning of Dalai Lama’s words. Not getting what you want may disappoint you, but it teaches you how to cope with that feeling and, at the same time, it leads you to different paths you wouldn’t be able to explore otherwise. This is, in my opinion, indeed, a wonderful stroke of luck. At the end of the day, the point is not about just surviving, but living a joyful life. That’s why you should always remember that you can’t control what happens to you, you can only control how you perceive it, and therefore how it affects you. This, I believe, is even better than controlling life itself. Because you control your way of thinking, thus you can make yourself happy. You are the only one that can do this, never forget that and never give up on it.
Being happy is a choice. Your choice.
By Yolanda Diamandopoulou