Monday, April 23, 2007

Curious about Circumstances: How Do They Influence Us? How Do You Deal with Them?

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” - Jim Rohn, American businessman

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.” - James Allen, American author

Yes, I usually write and post this blog on Saturdays or Sundays. But, you know that today is Monday - and fairly late Monday. You guessed it. It was because of my circumstances.

I left early on Thursday for Towson, Maryland (right outside of Baltimore), for my college reunion. And, from the moment I arrived until I drove back home, I was busy having a blast. I attended classes, visited with classmates I hadn’t seen in years, walked around the campus (filled with new and sharp buildings), met many of the new and very young students, took part in the parade of classes and many events, purchased goodies at the campus store, experienced incredible art work and ate deliciously prepared food.

These were special and delightful circumstances. However, not all circumstances are. And, how many of us use our circumstances as excuses for not reaching our goals and aspirations? I know that you have met people who complain and whine about their circumstances. And, yes, life is often not perfect, but let’s try to realize that challenging circumstances - and how we deal with them - help us to grow and prosper.

I think that you will find many of the quotations helpful and inspiring - I know I did.

Let’s start with some overall general feelings about circumstances:
  • The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” - Aristotle, Greek philosopher
  • Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.” - Napoleon Hill, American writer
  • We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.” - Earl Nightingale, American entertainer
  • Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” - Horace, Greek poet
  • I am I plus my circumstances.” - Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher
  • He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances.” - David Hume, Scottish philosopher
  • Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances.” - Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect
  • If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” - John Heywood, English dramatist

Some lasting advice for all of us:

  • The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them.” - George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist
  • There are few circumstances which so strongly distinguish the philosopher, as the calmness with which he can reply to criticisms he may think undeservedly severe.” - Charles Babbage, English mathematician
  • Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time.” - Thomas J. Watson, American scientist
  • Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances.” - Virgil, Greek poet
  • Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.” - Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman
  • No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet
  • A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” - Hugh Downs, American entertainer
  • Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” - Thomas Jefferson, American President

And, here are three more to chew upon and consider this coming week:

  • Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” - Nido Qubein, American businessman
  • We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.” - Earl Nightingale, American entertainer
  • Dwell upon the brightest parts in every prospect... and strive to be pleased with the present circumstances.” - Abraham Tucker, British philosopher

What circumstances are you dealing with? How can you use them to your advantage? What have they taught you and what are they teaching you now? Have a terrific week filled with great circumstances!