Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

Good or bad? Maybe…

Happy Monday!

It’s very easy to fall into the victim mentality when you have a lot of stuff going on and things aren’t going the way you want them to.

It’s at times like that I like to remember “The Story of the Chinese Farmer,” by Alan Watts.  Essentially, it’s about a farmer who has “bad” fortune followed by “good” fortune happen to him, and his neighbors categorize each event as either good or bad while the farmer stays neutral.

The farmer steadfastly refrained from thinking of things in terms of gain or loss, advantage or disadvantage, because one never knows… In fact we never really know whether an event is fortune or misfortune, we only know our ever-changing reactions to ever-changing events.


What if—next time or maybe even today—you suspended judgment on whether a stressor is good or bad, particularly bad because you never truly know the consequence of bad fortune? The consequence is not determined by the event or thing itself, but by how you react to whatever that thing is.

Another important aspect to this story is the Chinese farmer’s neighbors, and the tendency that people have to overreact to good or bad. One of the worst things for your success is having the people around you perpetuate a victim mentality and throw you a pity party.

A hard truth is that you may need to start limiting your exposure to these types of people.

We are not a result of our circumstances; we are a result of what we DO with our circumstances.

Rather than think “poor me” and how everything is so bad, I challenge you to put what you’re going through in perspective to what’s happening elsewhere in our world. OWN your reactions rather than fall victim to your circumstances.




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