Every situation holds an invitation to learn and grow. I first encountered this concept in 2009 during a seminar by Jack Canfield. He shared that in every aspect of his life, he asks himself, 'What's the opportunity that this is?' I vividly recall being immediately captivated by this question. I noticed that two things were activated within me right away:
- The question is forward-focused. It sparks curiosity, a positive sense of something new to be known or discovered. Energy is released, and it feels vastly different from directing attention to the past seeking explanations or reasons for why the situation is as it is.
- There is an unwavering belief that the 'opportunity,' that chance or occasion, actually exists.
In 2012, when I came across Transformational Presence, I saw that Alan Seale significantly deepened this idea, making it even more practically applicable. He showed me that it's not just about thinking about what 'the opportunity' is but also being open to the idea that 'the opportunity' reveals itself to you. The 'only' thing you need to do is quiet your mind, zoom out, open yourself to new information, and be curious. Then, let the situation speak to you.
One of the critical concepts closely tied to Transformational Presence is 'Learning Forward.' You observe something and let it tell you what it is. If you interpret something based on what you already know, you're essentially learning backward. The existing context, which you are familiar with, dictates how you interpret the new. This results in continually categorizing everything within old frameworks.
‘Learning Forward’ requires an open mind and an open heart; with curiosity, you approach something. You are willing to let something just be without immediately bringing it under your mental 'control' by labeling it (see also the blog post on 'everything is information').
It takes some practice, but it's more than worth it! Life becomes much more enjoyable and exciting, and you experience more peace and confidence.
This week, consciously adopt the perspective that every situation holds an invitation to learn and grow. To make this practical, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Pause, slow down, listen, sense and feel: what is the opportunity for growth and development presenting itself here?
- What does that want to tell me?
- Who am I being asked to be in this situation? In other words, what role am I asked to take on, what qualities should I bring forward, or how am I asked to show up?
- What is the first action step then?
Wishing you a lot of discovery and enjoyment!
Note: This is the sixth blog post in a series of 7 about seven perspectives that help elevate your happiness and well-being, allowing you to live 'the good life' (Seligman). The seven perspectives are:
- Everything is information
- Everything is energy in motion
- All change begins with awareness
- You always have a choice in how you respond to something
- Everything is relative
- Every situation holds an invitation for learning and growth
- Everything is Love