Why Do I do What I do?
When I was 24 years old and 2.5 years into my 3 year Sports Journalism degree I attended a personal development seminar in New Zealand.
The speaker at the seminar asked the attendees if anyone was grieving the loss of someone that had passed away. Various people put their hand up and told their stories of grief and eventually one girl was chosen to come up to the front, she was probably in her mid to late 20’s.
At the front of the class, she was given a microphone and told the audience how she had recently broken up with her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend had said to her ‘if you leave me I’ll commit suicide’, but she had made up her mind and she said that the relationship was over, thinking that he was only bluffing her, trying to get her to stay with him.
That night when she had finished work she came home to her apartment and found her now ex-boyfriend had hung himself from the ceiling.
So here I am at the seminar with this girl standing up the front of the class, not only grieving the death of her boyfriend but also feeling a massive amount of guilt for the whole thing, she blamed herself for his death.
At the time, sitting in that audience, hearing that girl speak, I couldn't even fathom what she was saying let alone what it must have felt like to go through.
This girl could barely string a sentence together she was crying so much, I assumed that she would need to be in therapy for a very long time and even then would probably never be able to get over it.
"At that moment my whole perspective on my life changed, I realised that it’s not what happens to us in life, it’s our perception of it."
Over the next 2.5 hours, I watched as the teacher took this girl though a series of questions, systematically balancing her perceptions and dissolving her grief and guilt right there on the stage.
At the end of the process the teacher asked her to demonstrate grief to the audience, she couldn't do it, she had completely dissolved her grief and couldn't access it.
To my amazement, she told the audience that she could now see both sides of the situation, the positive and the negative, she was looking at the full picture, instead of being biased by emotion and seeing only the negative. She was now grateful for the contribution that her ex-boyfriend had made to her life.
She was grateful for the experiences that they had shared together in life and what she had learned from those experiences and that she was now ready to move on with the next chapter of her life.
At that moment my whole perspective on my life changed, I realised that it’s not what happens to us in life, it’s our perception of it.
I realized that we actually have a choice and if we only ask ourselves the right questions we can break through anything.
At that moment I made a decision that the most meaningful thing I can do with my life is to dedicate myself to this work and share these principles with the world.