This past week there was a post from a friend who just didn’t understand how I could stay so positive all the time. I really appreciated the comment and quite frankly it caused me to laugh at myself… and that is a good thing!
The truth is that I am not positive all of the time. I am human. We all go through times of challenge and we have moments (sometimes days, weeks & months) where it seems like what is on our shoulders is attached with Velcro and made of lead. If you read the introduction to the Simple Steps… Real Change book you know what I’m talking about. (If you haven’t click here to download it for free.) And my challenges didn’t end when I wrote the book.
What has changed is how I choose to deal with my challenges. Each problem that I face presents an opportunity for me to discover something new about myself. Granted I wish sometimes that it didn’t feel like someone was kicking me in the head in order to make the point… but it does and I just need to deal with it.
Here are a couple of examples from my own life. I am sharing these with you so that you can see that even in the more dire of circumstances there is a silver lining.
- My position was eliminated in March 2009. Except for about 2 months I remain unemployed. I continue to look for work every day and after awhile it is easy to become discouraged. What I have learned from this is (1) I don’t need the “things” that I thought were so important when I had the big job; (2) I no longer ask people what they do for a living… I’d rather know what they do to make a happy life; (3) I love to write and through this website and our Facebook page I get to do just that. (And you all seem to like it too 🙂 )
- I invested in real estate in Ohio (I live in Texas) and relied on others to manage the properties. To keep a long story short… it did not work at as we’d hoped and in the end our savings was drained and we lost the investments all together. At 55 I’m starting all over again. What I have learned from this is (1) Never delegate or reliquish financial matters to any expert or guru; (2) Before investing in anything new I’ll complete my own research, due diligence; (3) Never, repeat, never be rushed into making a financial decision of any type.
My personal Simple Step when times are rough is to look for the lesson and then learn from it. When I actually learn the lesson (not just experience the problem) then going forward my decisions are better. I don’t beat myself up for any poor choice that I may have made. Instead I acknowledge that with what I’ve learned from the experience I’m wiser and more prepared for the next part of my journey. And that feels good.