by ARUNA LADVA, BK There are two types of people in the world: the pessimists and the optimists. The optimist sees every challenging situation as an opportunity to grow while the pessimist views the same situation as doom and disaster. Life presents us with a variety of knocks and bangs in the form of situations and experiences and it’s totally up to us how we deal with them. Those who grab the opportunity to change, move forward, grow and excel whilst those who fear and become intimidated, lose out, stay stuck and miss the valuables lessons that life brings! Which personality are you? It would do us well to view life as a perpetual school, in which every soul and situation is enabling us to attain our ‘Masters Degree’ in life! Everyone and everything are our teachers and we are being refined by every challenge and opportunity. It’s as though we are pieces of rock and life is sculpting and shaping us. We are being chipped at and chiselled to perfection. Life will continue to attempt to knock us over, unbalance us and make us loose our footing. We may lose our job, a close friend or partner, or have an accident. But those who accept the lessons, pick themselves up and become wiser for it, can make their lives a masterpiece. For every piece of art to be created, the artist needs silence and concentration. A painter, a sculptor, an architect, each need solitude and quiet to get their work done. If we take time to stand back, observe, reflect, and use our inner wisdom, we will learn that everything that is happening to us is exactly as it should be. We will be totally grateful for the tests that life is presenting to us and thankful for the art we are becoming! You will have noticed that you do not respond to the same situation now as you would have done in your teens or twenties – the reason being that life has shaped you and you will be more experienced, wiser and more mature. With time, introverts become extroverts, extroverts become introverts, those seeking the limelight will look out for the ‘dimlight’, those who exercised anger and ego will be humbled with patience… but this depth of transformation will only apply to those who actually take the time to use the lessons of life to their advantage. For those who resist, for them the artist – the hard knocks– will persist. Choose to always keep a positive frame of mind no matter what. Things may look pretty bad, but in hindsight we often realise how perfect they were for our growth. The art and the power is to be able to remember all this when we are passing through the situation and not after it. It’s time… to see everything that happens to you in life as an opportunity for your growth and learning. Don’t resist it accept it. Realise that every lesson is tailor-made for your greater good. Be grateful that the lesson has come, it has come to you and it has come now and not in your old age. Don’t wait until it’s too late!