The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for The Positive Approach To: “This Too Shall Pass”

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Looking back on your life, when have you reminded yourself of this philosophy?

You may have been dealing with pain or tackling a tough challenge. Alternatively, you may have been enjoying a special moment and wanted to savour it fully. You aimed to appreciate life and see things in perspective.

There are different versions regarding the origin of the phrase.

One refers to an Eastern Monarch who asked sages to produce a phrase that would help him to rise above temporary events. Another refers to the phrase being associated with King Solomon.

You can discover more about the views on its origin via the following link.

http://www.icelia.com/billybud/BillsPlace/BillsPlaceDailyARC0032.html

Different people use different versions of the phrase. Some say, for example: “This too will pass.” Others have their own ways of focusing on what is important in life when experiencing difficult times.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you followed your version of the philosophy: “This too shall pass.” This could have been a personal or professional situation. 

Describe the specific things you did to follow this philosophy in the situation. 

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of following this philosophy.

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Different people have different ways of applying this philosophy.

Looking at my own life, for example, I have been fortunate and have had few difficulties. There have been two occasions, however, when I drew comfort from this approach.

The first occasion was when working in a factory for six years. The daily work was boring and something at which I was poor, but my time was spent focusing on how to move on.

Looking ahead, I kept exploring how to find work that helped people. I knew that one day this would be possible, so it made the time in the factory more tolerable.

The second occasion was when experiencing excruciating pain for several hours whilst standing in Accident & Emergency. My catheter had been removed too early after having an operation for prostate cancer.

Unfortunately this led to urinary retention and increasing pressure on the bladder. Eventually the queue subsided and was followed by joy and relief when another catheter was inserted.

I learned a lot during the painful hours. Standing in the hospital, I distracted myself by saying: “This too will pass.”

Being an educator, I also kept asking: “How can I use this experience? What are the lessons that can be learned? How can I pass on this knowledge to other people?”

As mentioned earlier, different people have different approaches to applying the philosophy.

Some people focus on the spiritual aspects of life. Building on their own beliefs, they see what is happening within the greater order of things.

Some people focus on having a sense of gratitude. They draw strength from giving thanks, recalling magical memories and looking ahead to what they can do in the future.

Some people focus on having a specific attitude towards what is happening. Here is one such approach.

The positive approach to:
“This too will pass.”

The ancient phrase reminds us there are many life forces that live far longer than us. Bearing this in mind, some people aim to maintain perspective by putting themselves into positive circles. They sometimes focus on the following themes.

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Positive Purpose 

They ask: “What is my purpose on the planet? What do I want to give to people? How can I keep encouraging people in my life and work?”

Positive Things

They ask: “What are the things I am grateful for in my life? What are the things that give me positive energy? How can I do more of these things in the future?”

Positive Results

They ask: “What will be the results of encouraging people and doing the things that give me positive energy? How can I keep learning and developing? How can I use my strengths to help both present and future generations?” 

You will have your own version of saying: “This too shall pass.” Looking to the future, can you think of a situation when you may want to follow your philosophy to deal with a specific experience? How can you apply this approach in your own way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to follow your version of the philosophy: “This too shall pass.” This could be a personal or professional situation. 

Describe the specific things you can do to follow this philosophy in the situation. 

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of following this philosophy.

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