How to Use Contrast to Enhance Your Life

In my work as a Life On Purpose Coach many of my clients often
experience times of “extreme contrast”. These times can be very
difficult and challenging and may have actually been what led them
to seek out my services. So, let’s look at how we can use contrast
to actually enhance our lives.

Contrast is defined in the dictionary as ‘to compare or appraise in
respect to differences.’ Now we can either use this contrast to be
right and make others wrong — which we often do — or we can use it
to further distinguish what we want in our life, who we are committed
to being, etc. by looking at what we don’t want — the contrast — and
allow it to point us to what we do want.

Simple example. My family and I were recently in a community play. One
of the college age girls in the cast that my 13-year old daughter,
Amber, really likes and viewed as an older sister role model, invited
Amber to spend the night and part of the next day with her. But when
the night came, she suddenly couldn’t do it, giving the explanation
that she needed to clean her apartment instead. When Amber offered to
help with the cleaning, she declined. We later found out a boy had
offered to come over and fix dinner for her and a friend.

When I learned of this I was livid and indignant. How dare she treat my
daughter this way? I was ready to call her and point out in very clear
and angry terms the error of her ways. I spouted off for a while to Ann
and Amber while driving home from rehearsal which helped me to calm
down enough to consider another possible way to ‘respond instead of
react.’ I finally got to the point that I decided to use this
‘contrast’ to look more deeply at what’s really important to me, to
examine my core values. From this examination I realized that
integrity, which includes keeping one’s word, is an important value of
mine. In other words, integrity is something I am willing to invest
time and energy into having more of in the world, especially in my

Now, it’s likely that at some point I will speak to the young lady IF
and WHEN I can discern a way to speak my truth in a way that she can
hear it and be contributed to by it. And from a place of righteous
indignation (which is where I was) isn’t the place or way to speak that
will serve.

So, when the Universe offers you up a big plate of extreme contrast,
what will you discern and learn? What ways of being are you seeing in
others and perhaps in yourself that you realize no longer serve? From
there, look to see what other way of being could serve to, in a sense,
counterbalance the other way? If you viewed this contrast as the
Cosmic UPS Truck trying really hard to deliver you a gift, what is the
gift(s) wrapped within the packaging of this contrast?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Post your comments on the BLOG at:


Dr. Brad Swift founded Life On Purpose Institute in 1996 to assist
people like you to clarify their life purpose. Determine how on or off
purpose your life is with the fun & insightful Self Test at:

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