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Friday, March 2, 2012

Quoted: Washington Irving on 'Misfortune'


Washington Irving


"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them."   Washington Irving

At first, it may appear that this is saying misfortune is a blessing in disguise.  However, more to the point, it is saying that whatever occurs is in the eye of the beholder. What we call rising above may have everything to do with an individual’s perspective.

In everyone’s life, something occurs every second of the day. What you see as misfortune and what you see as a great opportunity may have more to do with how you view the world.


If you can understand that everything is an occurrence or something happening, you begin to get that what shows up is nothing, not misfortune or miracle. Therefore, it is what you say it is. Once you add your meaning to the occurring, the occurring is tainted by what you predetermine to be good or bad.

If, as a rule, you look for things to be wrong, eventually you will be tamed by your perspective alone.  Why? You will always find misfortune, even when things are going well.

If you think I am exaggerating, look at your relationship with your significant other or with big opportunities. If you are unable to visualize either over a one-year period without predetermining something going wrong, you are the creator of your own misfortune.

At the same time, breakdowns or problems occur in life. Do you view them as opportunities to uncover what is missing? Or do you allow your mind to be subdued into giving up and saying ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’?

Misfortune opens the door for the possibility to uncover what’s missing to be extraordinary. It is the opportunity to show your prowess, for the world to see what you are made of. 

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