A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, all I know is that yesterday I had a horse, and today I don't have a horse."
A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a herd of wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!”
The farmer replied, “I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, all I know is that yesterday I didn't have a horse, and today I have a herd of horses."
Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, all I know is that yesterday I my son had two healthy legs, and today he has one broken leg.
A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!”
To which the farmer replied, “I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing....."
Rather than telling yourself a story about something being absolutely good or absolutely bad, consider that you might not see the full picture yet.
If you find yourself dwelling on awful possibilities (awfulizing), it may be helpful to think of the farmers’s words. “I don't know if it's a good thing, or a bad thing....”
The slogan may help snap you out of awfulizing and help you de-stress.
We don’t know where the twists and turns of life will take us until the future plays out. Sometimes, events that seem awful turn out to contain something wonderful (or at least something somewhat good). As the great Mary Oliver wrote,
"Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift."
Have you had an experience in your past when you felt despondent about a situation and later realized that some good came out of it? You can use that experience to inspire you through your next challenge. Remember “I don't know if it's a good thing, or a bad thing....” and smile.
More on the origins of this story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_old_man_lost_his_horse
Learn how this story relates to the 1st of the 3 Empowerment Principles!
Mindy Amita Aisling
Life Coaching for Big-Hearted Overthinkers & Entreprenerds
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Mindy Amita Aisling, is a professionally trained and board-certified leadership, authenticity, and entrepreneur coach.
Mindy exceeds all requirements set forth by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Master Coach certification.
Mindy is also a licensed mediator, communications coach, and conflict resolution practicer. As a mediator, she has worked both in private practice and as a court appointment mediator at her local county courthouse.
Through her innovative approach, she assists clients in examining their limiting beliefs, questioning their assumptions about how the world works, and releasing the notion that they are anything less than perfect. As a result, individuals who work with Mindy cultivate the ability to stand firm in their beliefs, live authentically and decisively, and discover an experience of life that is easy and graceful.
In 2021, Mindy founded How to Be Human and Entreprenerd. These programs have enabled her to share her wisdom and knowledge with a broader audience in service of her vision of helping others live authentic lives This, in turn, has empowered more individuals to lead their most TRUE and COURAGEOUS lives.
When she is not working, Mindy can be found playing outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, creating art, spending time with friends & family, or with her nose deep in a book.
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