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How Reframing Events Leads to Success

How Reframing Events Leads to Success


    Have you ever wondered how some people always manage to achieve success in life even when they are going through traumatic events or situations?

    What’s their secret?

    I’ve researched what the most successful people do when the going gets tough and there’s one killer technique that I’m going to share with you today that you can start using immediately.

    This is it:

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    ‘Reframing’ Situations

    Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we can always ‘reframe’ our situation. So – no matter how bad everything appears to be, we always have the choice to make ourselves feel better by changing the way we view our problems or situations.

    The key point is this:

    We can’t always change the things that happen to us in life, but we can change the way we view them

    Here’s an example of a smart student using the ‘reframe‘ technique to help her parents ‘view’ a situation differently:

    Dear Mum and Dad

    Apologies for taking so long to write, but my writing utensils were destroyed in the fire at my apartment. I am out of the hospital and the doctor says I should be able to lead a healthy normal life. A handsome young man called Pete saved me from the fire and kindly offered to share his apartment with me. He is very nice and drives a lovely motorcycle, which I like to travel on with him – we go so fast and it is fun. I think you’ll be happy when I tell you that he did the right thing and we got married last week…you see you’re going to be grandparents very soon.

    Actually – there was no fire, I haven’t been in hospital, I’m not married and I’m not pregnant. But I did fail my biology exam and I just wanted to make sure that when I told you, you put it into proper perspective.

    Love Your Daughter

    So essentially, ‘reframing’ events is a way of changing your ‘perspective’ in life so that you don’t get so caught up in everyday problems.

    The way that we choose to ‘frame’ our lives will depend on our personal happiness and achievement.  The fact is that there will be times when you don’t have control over an event or a situation. You do though, have control over the way that you ‘view’ the event or situation.

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    You can choose to ‘view’ it negatively or you can choose to ‘view’ it positively.

    The research shows that those who reframe challenging events & situations positively will achieve much more success than those who reframe negatively.

    Why?

    In my opinion it can be easy to get caught up in everyday problems and this can block us from getting ahead. By ‘reframing’ events you can ensure you’re always moving forward and are not getting fixated on the problems in your life.

    It’s all about context –  if you perceive something to be bad – that is often because you are comparing it to something you perceive to be better.

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    So, take a lesson from the most successful people in history and choose to reframe positively.

    The inventor of electric light, Thomas Edison was a genius at ‘reframing’ events in his life and in my opinion it was this technique that powered him forward through every failure to his eventual success.

    Having been asked this question by a New York Times journalist: “How does it feel to have failed seven hundred times?”, Edison’s reply was as follows:

    I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated all the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.  - Thomas A. Edison

      Imagine what you could achieve if you began to ‘reframe’ the failures in your life instead of being blocked by them?

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      How Can you Start Reframing Today?

      1. The next time you notice yourself feeling frustrated about a situation or perceiving something to be ‘bad’, ask yourself how you can reframe it?
      2. Start by finding something worse to compare it to by thinking, “At least ‘X’ didn’t happen”.
      3. Try flipping the situation around to gain a positive from it.
      4. Think about what you have learned from the experience – this can often provide a positive reframe.
      5. Consider how the experience will help you move forward and remember that failure is always a pre-requisite for success.

      (Photo credit: Businessman Different View via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      Zoe B

      A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

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      Last Updated on March 23, 2021

      Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

      Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

      One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

      The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

      You need more than time management. You need energy management

      1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

      How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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      I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

      I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

      2. Determine your “peak hours”

      Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

      Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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      My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

      In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

      Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

      3. Block those high-energy hours

      Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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      Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

      If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

      That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

      There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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      Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

      Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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