Relationships

You Can’t Make Orange Juice From Lemons

Written by Armen Shirvanian

It is said that if life hands you something of value like lemons, you should then create what is possible from that value given to you, like by making lemonade.   What is often ignored in this message is that you can’t go and make orange juice if you are handed lemons.   What this relates to in your ability to make use of your strengths is that you have a certain set structure your body and mind have adapted to, and it makes no sense to try and take on the form of someone else who is successful.   This is because they are making orange juice with the oranges life gave them, and you are trying to make orange juice from the lemons life gave you.

Personalities Are Fairly Fixed In Place

A basis for this concept comes from the idea that our personalities are fairly fixed in place.   From a young age, you can predict with fairly high accuracy the skills that a child will have 20 years later, as well as where their deficiencies might be.   Life experiences do take their toll, but I’ve noticed that the quiet person in a group now tends to be the quiet person in a group 5 years later, and so on.   On the other hand, their success is much harder to determine, as they could make use of their skills in a way that is unexpected.

 

lemonsWork With What You Are Built With

If your mind is one that brainstorms well when you are pacing around, listening to classical music, and eating a fish sandwich, then that is what you want to work with.   Knowing that some genius in the 1800s would learn and process best when by sitting for 2 hours and meditating before doing brainstorming doesn’t mean it is the way for you.   It is worth trying if you are so inclined, but copying the pattern of another person, if it is not fitting for you, will be deleterious to your productivity.

Notice Trends In Each Person’s Behavior

This same concept applies to how you view others.   If you see someone responding in a common way each time, or regularly tearing you down, or maintaining an exercise routine for many years, you want to realize that that is a very accurate indicator of what you can expect from them in the near, and possibly far-off, future.   Don’t expect that someone else will adapt to what your ideal of them is as time progresses, because in the same way that history repeats itself, past actions and behaviors that affected you from a certain person are very likely to show up again, if not exactly, in a slightly altered way.

Tomorrow Will Be Like Today If No Change Is Made

The call to action from that point is to examine those you know, and see who it is that you have been hoping would understand you a certain way, or work with you a certain way, and take your idealistic glasses off to see if there is actual change taking place.   A co-worker who puts you down in some way every morning is not likely to quit that behavior until you realize the trend and respond in a way that makes a put-down from them to you not beneficial in their own mind.   It may also do you well to write down a description of how others frustrated you today, and then check on what you wrote today a week or two from now.   The similarity is likely to surprise you.

Knowing that oranges can’t be used to make lemonade, and that what you have seen from others is a good indicator of what you can expect more of, provides you with understanding that reduces frustration, and leads you to find those lemons to make your lemonade.

About the author

Armen Shirvanian

Armen Shirvanian writes words of wisdom about mindset, communication, relationships, and related topics at Timeless Information. You can follow him on Twitter at @Armen.