Circumstances. We either decide that they define us or we define them. We can use circumstances as a means to reveal our character in a positive way or allow our worst possible selves to come out. We often hope that a change of circumstance will make our lives better, so we wait for things to chance.
People who come to me for coaching begin wanting to just get out of the situation they’re in. They think if they can just change their situation, they’ll be happier and as we’ve learned throughout life and its many experiences, this is not always the case. We can have more money, more things, and a change of scenery and we can still feel unfulfilled and unhappy. So what is it that we can do to ensure, regardless the circumstance, that we can be happy and feel fulfilled?
After working with some clients for a while, their entire lives have changed, but realistically nothing has changed at all except for their outlook and acceptance of the responsibility they have over their circumstances. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “I feel so much happier despite the fact that little has changed.” By simply accepting this responsibility and appreciating where we are in the here and now – despite the circumstances – we have laid the foundation to thereby change the world around us. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what some of the greatest minds have to say about circumstances.
1. I am a very slave of circumstance. – Lord Byron
2. Men is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter. – Benjamin Disraeli
3. It always remains true that if we had been greater, circumstance would have been less strong against us. – George Elliot
4. What is the matter with the world that it is so out of joint? Simply that men do not rule themselves but let circumstances rule them – Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Men think to men their condition by a change of circumstances. They might as well hope to escape from their shadows. – James Anthony Froude
6. Watch and profit by every circumstance. – Henri de Jomini
7. Circumstances reveal us to others and still more to ourselves. – La Rochefoucauld
8. People are always blaming their curcumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they don’t find them, they make them. – George Bernard Shaw
9. Circumstances should never alter principles. – Oscar Wilde
10. The men who are made bu circumstances are unmade by trifling misfortunes; while they who conquer circumstances snap their fingers at luck. – Anonymous