Intellectual, philosopher and essayist Ortega y Gasset wrote this statement in 1914: “I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself”. Although I agree with the sentence, I find it incomplete, there is something missing. It states that who we are and the external circumstances prevail in our life, and it’s not necessarily true.
During my professional career as a psychologist, I saw with my own eyes that different people -with similar mental and behavioral patterns- react differently to external circumstances. While some of them freeze and fall into a state of shock or depression, others take it as an impulse to grow and do better, at an emotional, professional , cognitive, relational and personal level.
Therefore, it’s not only the circumstances, or who we are, that anticipate success or failure in a specific aspect of life. It is the mental and emotional interpretation of who we are, and also the mental and emotional interpretation of the circumstances, that mark the difference indeed.
In this context, a full self-knowledge of who we are, a healthy self-esteem and a positive attitude towards external problems will make us overcome any and every obstacle, achieving the best result.