“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of course, things can hurt us physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. In fact, our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well.
Victor Frankl suggests that there are three central values in life – the experiential, or that which happens to us; the creative, or that which we bring into existence; and the attitudinal, or our response in difficult circumstances such as terminal illness. My own experience with people confirms the point Frankl makes – that the highest of the three values is attitudinal, in the paradigm or reframing sense. In other words, what matters most is how we RESPOND to what we experience in life.
Difficult circumstances often create paradigm shifts, whole new frames of reference by which people see the world and themselves and others in it, and what life is asking of them. Their larger perspective reflects the attitudinal values that lift and inspire us all.”
Stephen R. Covey, in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
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