What was the best thing that ever happened to you? Maybe it was meeting your soul mate? Having awesome kids? Landing your dream job? Winning the lottery? Meeting a celebrity?
Would you ever answer the question with some kind of life challenge you’ve had? I recently came across this quote:
Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David. ~Doug Weed
When we’re asked the question, What was the best thing that ever happened to you? we tend to think of the emotionally positive events or experiences in our lives. Oh hey! Let’s see…I think marrying my soul mate and also having my beautiful kids are some of the best things that have ever happened to me (and I really do!).
But, wait a minute! What if the answer to this question was shifted to your challenges? Challenges can be emotionally charged, but they are also incredible learning opportunities. For example, my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me because it freed me to become my authentic self and I also met my soul mate. It was also an incredibly painful part of life for me. After (and even during) the pain, comes understanding. Plus, the gift of forgiveness. When you think of it that way, in spite of the pain my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me.
We ordinarily don’t think of answering this question with a challenging experience that’s come up for us. We tend to think of positive experiences–which, don’t get me wrong, is fantastic–but challenges can also lead to positive experiences as well. They shape who we are. They help us to grow and present us with incredible learning opportunities.
One of the exercises in my book Transforming Divorce is to list the positive things you can think of that come from your divorce. I don’t care how silly or inane they might seem, I want my readers/clients to start focusing on the positive things. This shift initiates the beginning of finding the learning opportunities inherent in the challenge of divorce.
So, I want to know: How would you answer this question: What’s the best thing that ever happened to you? Would you have thought to answer with a challenging experience?