Friday, December 2, 2011

Surviving Adversity - 17 Basic Truths

"Contrary to popular belief, there are no victims in this world – only willing participants. You can't always control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. And everyone has the power to change at any time."

Dr. Edith Eva Eger
The quote is from Dr. Edith Eva Eger, clinical psychologist. She came from a Hungarian Jewish family, which was taken to Auschwitz death camp in 1944. She survived when after the camps were liberated in the spring of 1945, an American soldier found her nearly lifeless body with other dead bodies. In 1949 she and her husband moved to the United States. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Texas, El Paso in 1969.

Today, Dr. Eger is a sought-after clinical psychologist and lecturer, helping individuals discard their limitations, discover their powers of self-renewal, and achieve things they previous thought unattainable. Here's a sampling of fundamental truths she encourages people to reflect upon:
  • 1. Every problem is temporary.
  • 2. The quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life.
  • 3. Dire conditions allow opportunities for inner growth.
  • 4. Adversity is what life is all about. You have the power to use adversity to your advantage!
  • 5. Blame and condemnation seldom produce positive change and almost always make things worse.
  • 6. Others only have as much power over you as you let them!
  • 7. The most obnoxious person in your life is often your best teacher.
  • 8. Aggression and passivity are two of the least effective behaviors to effect a solution.
  • 9. To find freedom we need to forgive.
  • 10. Forgiving is a selfish act to free yourself from being controlled by your past.
  • 11. Cooperation requires a lot less energy than competition or domination.
  • 12. Every situation can be viewed from many perspectives. Is there a pattern to the way you view most situations?
  • 13. Focus on seeing the world the way it could be, not the way it is.
  • 14. Take responsibility for the responses you make.
  • 15. Turn problems into challenges and crises into transitions!
  • 16. You may walk through the Valley of Death but don't set up camp there.
  • 17. To lead full lives we need to get in touch with ourselves, discard our limiting beliefs, and shed our prejudices.
Using her past as a powerful analogy, she inspires people to tap their full potential and shape their best destinies. It's a message of healing, personal growth, and freedom from self-imposed limitations  - a message that helps people build character, deal effectively with life's events, and enrich the lives of others. For more information about Dr. Eger, check her website...

An inspiring story about another Auschwitz survivor and her message of forgiveness...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

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