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The Inverted Spectrum: Two Sides to Every Coin

If you take a random sampling of, say, a thousand people, what you’ll find is that for the most part people go through life experiencing a similar array of ups and downs. From the loss of a loved one to the simple joys of parenthood and more, each life has its own range of experiences.

Why is it, then, that if you ask two people who experienced the same event how they feel about it, you often get two distinctly different responses? Why can two people experience the exact same event in very opposite ways?Half Full?

The simple answer? There are two sides to every coin.

How you feel about your life begins and ends in your own mind. We each see the world through different lenses.

There’s a theory called the “Inverted Spectrum” which suggests that although you and I may share the same vocabulary related to colour, we actually experience them in different ways. For example, while we would both agree that a certain object is the colour red, to your experience I may see more of a greenish hue while to my perception, what you see would be more purplish.

Taking the Inverted Spectrum idea to life and perception of experiences, people put their own spin (their own colour) on events. What one person decides to use as a life-affirming experience on which they build the rest of their life, another person may use as a crutch to justify their alcoholism or other vices.

When I tell people that I run marathons, it’s not uncommon to get the retort, “I’ve heard of people taking heart attacks running those!” My response is simple, “Yeah, I’ve heard of people taking heart attacks on their couch eating potato chips, too.” Think about it, some people use the anecdotal stories of people dying while exercising to not do it at all.

Where are you going with this?

Okay, so taking this idea to your personal life, what I’m saying is that every moment of every day you have the opportunity to choose either a positive or negative narrative for the things that take place. The same goes for your past.

If you’ve experienced financial hardship in the past, that does not need to be your future. If you’re reading this, I’m confident you have a desire to improve your life circumstance. The key to moving along the path of betterment is to recognize that there are indeed two sides (or more) to every coin and that you have the power within you to choose whether you’re going to make a difference or not. How you view the world is your choice.

Every difficulty in your life is an opportunity to make a better you. If you have to wait in a long line or traffic jam, that’s an opportunity to work on relaxing and finding yourself in the present moment. Just because other people are slamming their steering wheels in the cars beside you doesn’t mean you need to act likewise. Training your mind for such occasions is an active work in progress. You’ll slip and make mistakes, but by turning your mind into a positive driving force in your life you will recognize your ability to grow as a person.

Happiness and wealth are both choices. Choose wisely.


What have you done lately to improve your mental strength? What experiences have you had that seemed negative at the time but through which you gained a valuable life lesson?

Pictures courtesy of pixabay.com 


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