Change starts with you

As I published yesterday’s piece, “The greatest need” I thought of a few people in my life who are more in need of help than able to offer it.

We all get punched in the face by life. That’s what makes us stronger. Now that you’ve been punched, what will you do about it? Will you react out of vengeance or let it transform you?

Your mindset matters in the face of adversity – opportunity or roadblock. Even when you can’t see it, there is purpose in your problems, a lesson to learn. When you see something challenging on the horizon, don’t try to avoid it, face it head on. Stay in the moment. Maintain control. Don’t let the situation control you. What are you thinking? How are you responding? Evaluate vs. react.

Even in the worst situations, we can’t let tragedy become even more tragic because we choose not to deal with it or learn something from it.

Our friends Lindsay and John and their two boys have faced more hardship in the past two years than most people face in a lifetime. John was diagnosed several years ago with Chiari Malformation and has experienced several complications and extreme pain because of his condition. He underwent another surgery this week that was extremely risky in hopes to improve his pain and quality of life. (He is on the very long road to recovery as we speak…please pray for them!)

In spite of every tough blow they are dealt, even when we think things can’t get any worse and then they do, this family does not waste energy on blame or wishing it away. They lift their eyes and ask for God to help. They adapt, and find ways to enjoy the heck out of every moment they have together. It really is something to see. Through the suffering in their own life, they have been inspiration for so many. Just go look at Lindsay’s Facebook page if you need a little inspiration. Sure, there are bad days, but they choose transformation not vengeance on their journey and I respect the heck out of them more everyday for it.

Although I don’t like it, the fact is that pain and suffering keep us evolving, changing, and getting better. Don’t overlook the benefits you can gain…don’t suffer for nothing. You can’t stop it. Everyone has problems, it’s just that some are more severe than others. As Mark Manson says in the book The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck, Warren Buffett has money problems, and so does a hobo. Buffett’s problems are simply better than the hobo’s. Choices you make generate new problems, you just exchange or upgrade them throughout life. Stop wasting time complaining about your problems because you will always have them, do something about them and keep moving forward.

Sometimes moving forward simply means seeing one good thing inside of a really bad day. This is one of my favorite quotes from Jordan Peterson: If you pay careful attention, even on a bad day, you may be fortunate enough to be confronted with small opportunities to take a break and see a little extra light. Let it remind you that the wonder of Being might make up for the ineradicable suffering that accompanies it.

See the good. Reach out for help. Pray. Take a timeout. Read something uplifting.

There is always hope. No one can take that from you. 
Tomorrow can be better, and you are the only person who can make it so. 

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