Change Poison Into Medicine

[W]e can resist discouragement by articulating our life’s mission; accomplish that mission by making a great determination; overcome the obstacles that naturally arise when we make such a determination by changing poison into medicine…

–Alex Lickerman, M.D., The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self


Changing poison into medicine is a three-step process:

1) Identify the Poison

Inquire into the exact nature of your malady. Study it from every possible angle. Become an expert on it. 

This intruder in your inner sanctum is making your life a living hell—and has no intention to leave. So strike up a conversation with your unwelcome guest. Get to know it. If nothing else, this will help you pass the time.

If needed, do so under the guidance of a skilled practitioner.

2) Figure Out Its Medicinal Applications

This is where the critical shift occurs: rather than bemoan and bewail your affliction, figure out how you may use your hard-earned expertise to heal others.

AFFLICTION⇒EXPERTISE 

a) What are your strength? Talents? Best creative outlets?

b) How can you use them to reach others who suffer as you do?

If unclear, get feedback, do whatever it takes, but figure it out, because no one else can do it for you.

No one else knows the nuances of your pain as you do.

So take a deep breath, summon your will, and do it.

When you finally figure it out, you’ll know.

3) Commit to Healing Others

That’s it: commit.

Make a vow to yourself.

Then, follow through—every single day.

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