Life As A Pendulum?

When I see people getting anxious about the way things are evolving, I remind them that life is a pendulum…that the pendulum changes direction when it has swung too far in one direction.

Indeed, scientists remind us that the farther the pendulum swings from center the greater the stress upon it to change direction. In other words, there is a natural tendency toward a centrist status.


In the pendulum of life, there are many forms of stress.

As of the date of this writing, early March 2020, we are being stressed by the politics of the day and new global health care concerns.

In addition, each and everyone one of us is dealing with some personal challenges. Some of us are struggling financially. Others with personal health issues, relationships issues, the vagaries of an abusive environment.

While none of these is pleasant, none that people of good will would wish on another person, there is comfort and optimism in knowing that the pendulum will swing in the other direction.

Dealing with stressors

I’m sure that some of you are looking at that last statement and thinking “That’s not true for people who are terminally ill. The pendulum isn’t going to swing the other way for them.” Not true.

People who have been told that they have only weeks, months or a few years to live, find ways to deal with the news. The vast majority gain a greater appreciation of all the good that exists in their lives. They gain a new focus and the peace of knowing how they’re going to deal with the situation. They’re taking control and that control affords them peace of mind.

I’ve had people who have suffered a series of losses of loved ones in quick succession tell me that their losses made them more grateful for the good that exists in their lives. They were not victims of misfortune, their gratitude for the good in their lives enabled them to deal more effectively with the challenges life sent their way.

In terms the political anxiety of the day, we’ve seen the pendulum swings before. Each time the voters imposed their will on political leaders through their votes.

The coronavirus is the latest of widespread health issues. Most similar health crises have been effectively limited, if not fully eliminated. We are blessed to have people in this world who are adept at identifying viruses and finding ways of combating them.

I’m not denying the pain and anguish that these situations create. What I am saying is that you have a choice in how you view what’s happening. You can choose to view the situation as one that’s continuously worsening and will continue to do so.

Or you can choose to recognize to recognize that the situation is temporary…that ultimately the pendulum will swing in the other direction.

The choice you make determines the life you live. If you choose the former, pessimism, you experience pain and suffering to a greater degree. All you can see is the pain. Whenever your focus is on pain, it intensifies.

Conversely, when you realize that pain is fleeting, optimism, you realize that there are things you can do to alleviate the pain you’re experiencing. Knowing that you can alleviate your pain and acting on that knowledge immediately alleviates the pain you’re experiencing. Your focus has shifted from pain to action which is why the pain experienced lessens.

For you

When you feel yourself experiencing stress over the way things are evolving, pause. Remind yourself that life is a pendulum and that it will reverse its current motion and move toward more favorable results.

Next, ask your subconscious mind “How can I minimize the impact of what’s happening to both me and the ones I love? Better yet, what can I do to reverse the trend?”

Your subconscious mind will provide answers to these questions. How can I be so sure? It’s what I’ve experienced all my life, yet realized only for the past 30+ years.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your subconscious mind provides answers to these questions. When it does, then it’s up to you to act on these answers. If you don’t act, pessimism returns and along with it the pain and anguish you were experiencing.

If you act on the answers you get, your newfound excitement in having the capacity to help move the pendulum in the other direction automatically alleviates your pain.

For our kids

When you find the kids in your life nurturing pessimism, help them see that life is a pendulum that will ultimately swing the other direction. Remind them of previous situations in which they expected the worst only to discover that the worst never happened. Share with them examples of similar situations in which things looked bleak and yet solutions were found and life returned to a more normal state.

I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your thoughts with us.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs.

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.

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2 Responses

  1. Bill Prenatt

    Dale, Your followers might be interested in this book. Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future Hardcover – October 2, 2012

    As always, I appreciate your reflections and insights. Always timely!

  2. Dale C Furtwengler


    Thanks for sharing the book title with us. I’m always looking for new insights. And thank you for the encouraging words.

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