What can this teach me?

Chip Conley (Airbnb) was told he had prostate cancer the day before this ted talk. What can this teach me?

Cancer can be a teacher. For me, it’s been a reminder of the vulnerability that we can have as well as what level of control you have over your body. It really forced me to ponder what I’m here on this Earth to accomplish… it created a sense of urgency.

We don’t have as much control as we think we do and that life truly is fleeting. Ram Rass (Author / Psychologist / Spiritual Teacher) had a similar feeling after he had a stroke.

The stroke was giving me lessons, and I realized that was grace—fierce grace … Death is the biggest change we’ll face, so we need to practice change.

In both of these situations I was struck by how they could view life threatening illnesses as ‘teachers.’ I then looked at how I react in stressful situations. Filled with frustration and anger, blind because of these feelings. These scenarios are nothing, nothing compared to being diagnosed with cancer.

Instead of ‘Why did this happen to me?’, what about ‘What can this teach me?’

This may speak a lot about the self-awareness and confidence in that Conley and Dass possess. We may not all have this strength right now but they most likely didn’t either. It’s cultivated it with continued self-awareness and reflection. Next time you’re stuck in traffic, get a parking ticket or separate from a friend ask yourself ‘What can this teach me?’

It’s unfortunate that this has happened”. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it — not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it. – Marcus Aurelius