Life is hard. Find me a person who has not gone through painful experiences and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t fully lived. In fact, I’ve have had my fair share of them myself. Just yesterday, I was doing some work in the back yard and I dropped a rock on my foot while working in the garden. Because I don’t own hard toe working boots I wore runners. Big mistake. While loading river rock into our new garden, I dropped one on my big toe. OUCH! I learned that I must be more careful and have proper footwear when doing that type of work.
After 40 years, I now realize that life is about learning – and by using the lessons to become better at our work, better as parents, better at being a friend and just better all around. Each day is a new day to learn something new, to gain new perspectives and understand more and more what this world is about. I’ve discovered that this helps me be more grateful in life and a more optimistic person all around.
“Learning isn’t something that stops when we are handed a diploma.”John Wooden
Most people stop learning after high school or college – intentional learning that is. In fact, studies show that they never pick up a book, attend a course or are willing to learn new perspectives once they graduate. However, I believe that is when we truly start to learn! I have learned more since graduating then I ever have in my studies! School provided me with the basic tools to handle life outside of a classroom. Similarly, what about when life knocks you down, or you experience that thing that no one told you about? Who teaches us how we are to react to everyday life and disappointments that come our way?
There were years where I thought I knew everything. In fact, I thought my losses couldn’t teach me anything. Therefore I was stuck, frustrated and just wanted to give up. However, I soon realized that pausing, revaluating situations, and considering what was really going on, allowed me to gain the insight and knowledge to make adjustments to move forward.
My mentor John C Maxwell talks about the different components of dealing with different types of losses and taking those lessons and turning them into valuable weapons to equip us for challenges that will come our way in the future. Because if we don’t, the following difficulties will arise:
- Emotionally, we will become stuck
- Mentally, we will become defeated
- A gap between “I should” and “I did” will be created
- Bigger losses will come our way
Knowing all this, are setbacks, disappointments and failures holding you hostage? Are you dealing with some bad news and you just cannot seem to move forward? There are lessons in all of those and you can change your perspective with proper insights to turn those dark moments into light. By looking at losses as opportunities for growth through learning, then we become unstoppable. Life is hard and it will always contain losses, but when armed with the tools to learn, losses will not overtake you.
In conclusion, if you are ready to look at your failures and losses and turn them into wins and lessons learned, join me for a 4-week study to providing yourself with the greatest gift of all: hope for the future.