Often people feel that life has been unkind to them. In my profession, I come across loads of people who are not happy either with their spouses or with their jobs, or finances or kids or something else. They find something or the other to feel unhappy about, something or the other to complain about. And then there are people who despite the biggest problems in life always remain composed, if not happy.

So, what is the difference?

Is it that these people are stronger than the first set? No! I believe that the secret sauce is acceptance.

What is Acceptance?

Acceptance means a lot of things and there are a lot of things to accept. So, the definition of acceptance is not a one-line, pithy statement. There is far more to acceptance than this story covers. But, let me explain a part of it by means of an example. Let us say, I want to go from point A to point B, which will take me one hour. On the way, I fall into a hole. What are the various things I need to accept in this situation? I have to accept that:

  • I am in a hole. I cannot be in denial about the predicament that I am in.
  • I have to get out of the hole. I cannot sit there and say, “I have fallen into this hole now. What to do? This is my life now.”
  • I may need to take help. It is okay to reach out to people, if I think I cannot do it myself.
  • I can get out of the hole. I don’t have to remain there, whatever the hole.
  • Getting out of the hole will take time. I may not miraculously emerge out of the hole.
  • The larger part of the effort will be mine. There may be no crane that will pull me out of the whole without my having to put in any effort.
  • Getting out of the whole will be difficult. Despite my best effort, sometimes emerging may not be easy.
  • Getting out of the hole will be worth the time and effort. It will allow me to head towards my destination, point B.
  • I may not reach point B in one hour as previously scheduled. I will be delayed. But that is okay too.

When I learn to accept these things, my journey from point A to point B will be smoother, even if I am delayed. If I don’t accept these, I will still be delayed, but I will complete the journey in misery.

Now map this with any situation you are in and try to look at it from a more open-hearted and accepting viewpoint. Chances are, although you will still have some bad luck in your life (as all of us do), you will still be far happier.