Life is full of surprises along the path to realizing our dreams. During the ups and downs of a national rocky economy, various family changes, opinionated coworkers, unhealthy consumerism, and high expectations, how do you cope? For many people, life has brought seasons of difficulty. Maybe a loved one has become ill or passed away. Perhaps for you, unemployment has affected your family. Maybe you have struggled in your relationships with others recently. Life can be tough, but your perspective on it and your response to it matters. When you are living through life’s trials and daily grind, do you have an attitude of hope or despair?
In my book The New 10, I use a quote that is perfect for this very topic: “Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.” Originally from Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, this philosophy of practicing a lighthearted approach to life can be critical for the survival of your spirit and for the relationships you treasure.
When life throws a curve ball at you, many times, there’s an opportunity to both laugh and to learn during that difficulty. My move to Kelowna from Calgary in the fall of 2011 was for good reason …to be here for my daughter. Yet, through unforeseen circumstances I lost everything in the process. My home, my valuables that I had been collecting for twenty-five years, all sources of income and the list goes on. I was basically forced to start over. After the initial shock wore off I chose to do it with as much humor and dignity as I could and now my life has been re-invented for the better tenfold. One thing I learned about this situation is how resilient I am and how supported I was by higher powers who guided my way even when I could not see the forest through the trees; I was never alone.
Situations like these can be very good for our character development. If we consistently fight for a positive attitude during times of difficulty and trial, we learn to love others better and treat each other with more kindness, even while we’re hurting from life’s challenges. If you are suffering from an illness, you might actually take the chance to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you ever thought! I’ve heard amazing success stories about young kids who have lost limbs and pushed themselves beyond expectations to become incredible athletes. One young lady who was a talented surfer lost an arm to a shark bite, yet she responded to the difficulty by getting back out on her surf board and proving that the injury would not hold her down.
My challenge to you: Just for today…embrace any challenge you face in your life with humor, dignity and grace.