Less than a week ago, my house was broken in by burglars while my wife and I were out. We lost some stuffs and it was a frustrating experience, but the ‘Coach’ in me saw a different point of view from the unpleasant incident.
Viktor Frankl said that we should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather recognized that it is us that are asked. When major life events pose us the big questions, how we respond defines us.
There were important realizations and lessons I’ve gained from the burglary incident:
1) I was calm. My house was broken in more than twice before, about 6-7 years ago. This time I was very calm, unlike before when I was quite upset and angry. With the understanding of the 3 Principles and knowing where the experience of my feeling is coming from, I didn’t dwell too long on unhelpful thoughts.
I didn’t have to resort to mental techniques like “reframing” and “choosing my response” because I know my default state is calmness, clarity and well-being – I don’t have to do anything, I just have to let my thoughts settle back to its default setting.
It was so much easier to move on and take the necessary counter-measures and next course of actions instead of doing non-useful stuffs like regretting, worrying, playing victim and blaming.
2) I’m okay with not having much. It was a realization that there’s nothing of great value in the things I own (physical stuffs), and the greatest assets are inside of me and the relationship I have with my wife. Naked I came, naked I will go. I don’t need much to live, really.
3) I already have enough and much much more. The most important thing I lost was my new laptop and I have tons of information in it. Although I have more than 80% of the data stored elsewhere, I realized that even if I had lost all the information, I already have enough knowledge and skills in me to create massive value many times over, for myself and other people.
4) What are the more important stuffs have I been losing? This latest incident and setback reminded me to have a sense of urgency, to be vigilant and guard against greater losses.
There are more important things in life that we’re losing unaware, like missed opportunities and moments to do the right things – to move us directly towards where we want to go. We procrastinate, get stuck in self-made ruts and gripped by stuffs like fear, which prevent us from living full out.
I’ve resolved not to let this incident and other events rob me of my well-being or hinder me from living full out.