“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it”

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it”, said the famous educator and author Charles R. Swindoll.

Life, for each one of us, has different meanings and definitions. The goals, dreams and aspirations that we have, defines how we form and shape our lives. However, a minor setback can send our planned, structured lives spiraling out of control.

But should we let our lives be defined by a few upsetting events? Should a few setbacks, although big or not, dampen our spirits, should we hang on to the fact that everything’s lost? No, we should not. Setbacks are meant to make us learn how to get back up again and brush off the dust from our knees, only to get our life back on track.

happy life

What we make of our lives, depends majorly on how we react to the situations happening in and around us. Sometimes life may throw such problems at us that all we would want to do is to snuggle inside our bed covers and not face the world, because in times of crisis, hiding from our problems always seems like a better option. We feel helpless, vulnerable and weak whenever something happens out of the blue and threatens to shake up our whole world. It could be a divorce between our parents, a fight with our best friend, a failure in an examination, a breakup with a lover, etc. but it always manages to hurt us to the core and it is absolutely normal to feel like it’s the end of the world and that nothing would ever be normal again. What’s important is that we learn to accept the problem, running away is not going to help overcome it. Accept that there’s a problem, face it, work on it and sort your life out. I know its easier said than done, but one could always try.


After all, life is beautiful. It is full of surprises and new beginnings and fresh starts. We have to make the most of every little moment to squeeze out every ounce of joy from our lives. Yes, it’s not always so rosy and there will be days when everything will be blue. But its in those dark, doubtful times that one has to remember what makes this life worth living? What is it that pulls us towards the urge to fight on and move out of the mess in our lives?

We have to remember that love is a beautiful, transcendental thing. That there are people out there who love us, believe in us, and would love to see us happy and healthy. Even if we do not feel this way, even if we think that no one loves us, that the whole world is blind to our miseries and deaf to our silent screams, we still have to find reasons to go on forward in life. Our worth is not decided by the people we think know us, or the people we want validation from. It is us, and our views, our ideologies, our thoughts that makes us who we are and nobody can change that.

Self-acceptance is the key to developing the right attitude towards loving ourselves and our lives, however messed up it may be. Its up to us to find out that one shining beam of light when we find ourselves plunged in darkness. There’s a very famous quote by Albus Dumbledore , a very well known and central character from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling that goes like this , “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.”

This rings true for all us, as one has to learn that inspite of being plunged into an abyss of hopelessness and despair, we have to learn to climb back up the ladder to self-improvement, and get our lives back on track.

The first step towards having a positive outlook in life is to develop a strong mind coupled with a kind heart, because neither can survive without the other. Then comes the hard part of self-acceptance, of accepting our flaws and shunning the idea of perfectionism. The next step is to work on our flaws, with patience and stoicism. What’s important is to acknowledge the fact that no one’s perfect and we are all messed up in one way or the other. If we accept this fact, then life will become easier, our problems will shrink, if not disappear completely. It is one’s outlook towards life, that shapes our opinions on the next best step to take in solving the very problems that cluster our lives. Next, one has to look for joy in the little things in life and preserve and cherish those moments of joy, however small. There’s no manual for achieving happiness or satisfaction in life, but there’s always our heart’s voice to lead the way towards a more positive life.

Life is beautiful and tragic. It’s not wise to leave out or ignore the dire events in life, because that way we’ll only end up shelving our fears and we’ll never know when those same fears will pop out again, or become embedded in our very souls, unwillingly becoming a part of our selves. So accept the good with the bad. Nothing is perfect. Life is filled with downfalls and upheavals and it is our right to smile or even cry while facing the consequences.

Look for a rainbow after a heavy downpour, look for wildflowers among grass, look for dew drops after a bitter, cold night, look for wild hearts amidst conformity, look for sunshine where the shadows part,and  look for happiness in the bleakest of times.

Never lose hope, never give up, even though every nerve and fiber of your being is screaming at you to give up and let go of this world, but shun out that voice, make it stop and listen instead to your heart, that tiny voice inside your heart urging you to go on, and not give up.

Listen a little more, ask for help when you feel like you need it, love a little more, smile like you’re the happiest person on earth, cry when things get a little overwhelming, but always, always share your thoughts and feelings. You might feel like people don’t want to listen or people might not understand, but try and make them listen or find people who are willing to do so. If you do not hold out your hand, how do you expect someone else to take it to help you rise again? And first and foremost, never forget that life is beautiful and that it is worth fighting for, worth living for. Smile and  everything will be set right. Afterall, nothing can change the world more than the power of our own thoughts.

Pragnya Paramita

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