Our words reveal our thoughts to the world. Our words define our actions.
In difficult situations we have learned to brace ourselves with the words; what can I learn from this? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
All these questions are reactive. The answers are revealed only after the fact, and then only if we remember to sift through the actions and events that went before.
The questions are also, despite their seeming wisdom, self-centered and passive. They presume that there is greater force concerned with us in particular, a force that will guide us. We just don’t know how, until after we emerge – hopefully unscathed – from the unpleasant moment.
If we change the question to; how can my being here improve the situation? How can I direct my thoughts and actions to the benefit of all?
We will find that our thoughts and actions become proactive. In answering these questions we will discover our purpose in that moment, and we will learn something new, right there, in the moment.
Asking ourselves the question, how can my thoughts and actions benefit this moment? Does not just apply in the hard moments, but also in the fun ones.
My favorite people (not) are those that arrive at a party saying ‘So where’s the party?’ Then, after scanning the scene, decide there is not enough party to keep them there and move on to the next venue, arriving with the same words ‘So where’s the party?’
When invited to a party, you are expected to bring the party with you. When you are invited to a dinner you are expected to bring your best dinner guest behavior. If you direct all your thoughts and actions to make this occasion the best for everybody else, as well as yourself, you are sure to see your social life blossom.
If we ask ourselves, not what we can gain from any given moment in life, but what we can give, to make that moment the best it can be, then we start proactively create the best lives we can.