Sometimes your life can be rolling along in the way that you had planned and expected it to go that way forever. Unfortunately, sometimes the universe has other plans for you. Mistakes, accidents, poor decisions, changing health, changing relationships and/or tragic circumstances can shatter your world as you know it. One of my mother’s best sayings, that I always shared with my classes on the first day of each semester, is, “Choose to be happy.” Obviously, that can be more difficult in certain situations but the only thing we can truly control in this life is how we CHOOSE to react to what happens around us. She certainly does not mean that you should be happy in the face of tragedy but the main lesson behind it is that we can make decisions that allow us live a mostly happy life. To a certain degree I always saw this as a guiding principal in how you can regroup after bad things happen.
I don’t believe that all things happen for a reason but I do believe that good came come from bad. It may not happen quickly and doesn’t have to mean that it “makes up” for what is changed or lost. Obviously, the loss of a loved one, the suffering of a major illness or injury, the end of a marriage, being forced to rebuild a career, etc will never be fully erased but the power of the human spirit is such that we CAN move forward, rebuild and have a fulfilling life.
I am personally in the process of rebuilding my life after circumstances forced me to move on from teaching and relocate. It has not been an easy or fast process and it is far from complete. However, despite some recent unexpected changes, there is a bright optimistic light at the end of the tunnel. Obviously, there are no guarantees but I am excited at the business opportunities that my business partner and I are working towards. We are very close to being able to “ship it” (means fully open up our company for full service).
While working for myself wasn’t my initial long-term goal – I thought I’d teach “forever” – it has been exciting, rewarding, offers great opportunity to be creative and has tremendous potential for financial reward. Ultimately, from a financial stand point, I will be extremely happy if it allows me to be comfortable…I don’t need to become the next Steve Jobs.
One thing I personally needed to do (and occasionally affirm) is to remind myself that I am not my biggest mistake. That cannot and will not define me. I accept and take responsibility for the errors I have made in my life but I know that I am way more than that and I know that I had a positive impact as a teacher and coach for the time I had the privilege to do both.
Wish me luck…