Being Thoughful: Silver Linings

I needed a little perspective "update" last year. So I hit the nearest bookstore and delved into many books and philosophies in order to try to find myself a better footing in life. After reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (which is a fabulous book and I recommend it to everyone who needs a pep-talk on letting yourself be who you really are), I formulated (with help from the book) the personal concept of being "DIFT."

DIFT is an acronym (of sorts) for deliberate, inspired, focused, and thoughtful. It's my way of checking in with myself when I do almost anything. For example, I will ask myself: "Is this hobby, activity, or project a deliberate action of mine? Does it inspire me or others? Am I keeping things focused on what I want? Is it done with thoughtfulness?" This questioning is helping me weed out the unnecessary and find what is truly important and meaningful for me. There is only so much time we have in this life and I don't want to waste too much of it on what I personally don't connect with.

So, from time to time I may share with you a DIFT thought or story. Perhaps from myself, or perhaps from another source. It's the sharing of knowledge and wisdom that helps us grow and make changes that are inevitable and necessary as we go through this life. Maybe you will start to see things a little DIFT as well.


The story I'm sharing with you now starts with some Chinese characters cut out of metal that are in the garden. It's meant as a decorative piece but, as good as it looks, there is also a great story in the meaning. Some outside help was needed in tracking down the translation, which turns out to be a proverb that you will recognize. Most proverbs come from stories, and here it is:

It can be difficult to foresee the twists and turns which compel misfortune to beget fortune, and vice versa. There once was a (father), skilled in divination, who lived close to the frontier (with his son). One of his horses accidentally strayed into the lands of the Xiongnu, so everyone consoled him. (But) the father said, "Why should I hastily (conclude) that this is not fortunate?" After several months, the horse came back from the land of the Xiongnu, accompanied by another stallion, so everyone congratulated him. (But) the father said, "Why should I hastily (conclude) that this can not be unfortunate?" His family had a wealth of fine horses, and his son loved riding them. One day (the son) fell off a horse, and broke his leg, so everyone consoled (the father). (But) the father said, "Why should I hastily (conclude) that this is not fortunate?" One year later, the Xiongnu invaded the frontier, and all able-bodied men took up arms and went to war. Of the men from the frontier (who volunteered), nine out of ten men perished (from the fighting). It was only because of (the son's) broken leg, that the father and son were spared (this tragedy). Therefore misfortune begets fortune, and fortune begets misfortune. This goes on without end, and its depths can not be measured. (Wiktionary translation)


The proverb?

A setback may turn out to be a blessing in disguise... or... Every cloud has a silver lining.

Happy weekend everyone!

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