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How to overcome, when bad things happen and remain vibrant

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Recently I was conducting a seminar in Delhi, when during the lunch break; one of the participants approached me to discuss his issues in private.

He shared with me that during Diwali holidays, he was travelling from Lucknow to Rai Bareily to be with his wife and daughter who had gone earlier to be with his parents.

During the bus ride, some mischievous children threw stones at the bus, and as he was sitting next to the window, the shattered glass hit his left eye and damaged it severely, although he has had some treatment, the vision in his left eye is dismal. There is still some hope that his eye may recover. He says that although he can see fairly well with his right eye, he at times finds it difficult to live with not having the same vision quality that he had earlier. He said that this at times makes him very upset, because he is unable to understand, why this has happened to him. He asked me to guide him as to how to overcome his mood swings.

I asked him to give me sometime, so I may think of what he could do. The seminar was for two days, so on due consideration, next day I gave him the advise. Very often when others are asking us for advice, which should be a considered effort on our part, we give an opinion, instead, it requires less effort in analysing and thinking.

Overnight I thought about his challenge, and after due consideration, I came to the conclusion that it will be great for me to recommend him to read the book written by Victor Frankl, ‘Man’s Search for meaning’. The book inspires the reader to attach the most sensible meaning to whatever event that happens to them in life, good or bad.

I shared with my participant how an Olympic diving aspirant, in America many years ago injured himself badly while practicing. He was unable to walk, let alone dive, as he was paralysed from waist down, due to the accident. While he was lying in the hospital bed, he was in despair, realizing that he would never be able to walk again, and equally frustrating would be that he would not be able to dive, a passion of his life. As he was slipping into depression, one of his friends gave him the book, Man Search for meaning, authored by Victor Frankl. Reading the book turned his state of mind around.

After reading the book, he eagerly started cooperating with the doctors, so he may heal as quickly as possible, knowing very well he would never be able to walk again, he started to learn how to be as self sufficient as possible, for the now he was eager to live again, for the meaning he attached to the accident was that now he will be able to understand the pain, and will be able to help countless fellow Americans who have been in accidents and are unable to walk as they suffer from spinal injuries and waist down paralysis. His new found mission was to motivate and inspire such people to resume as normal and vibrant lives as possible.

To be happy, no matter what happens, we need to practice making the most of it. If good happens, share it with others, and if bad happens, practice dealing with it, and helping other people who have faced similar challenges, overcoming it.