Today I’d like to paint a picture for you of ‘The Perfect Life’. A life where there’s no pain, rejection, conflict, disappointment, failure, misunderstanding, self-judgement…
Sounds unbelievable? Yes, because both you and I know that a life void of what I’ve described above is absolutely impossible here on earth. Well, actually it might be possible, if we could just get rid of all of those peculiar and complicated humans. You see, that’s what it would take to have a world free of challenges, losses and setbacks.
Imagine trying to abort the process of producing a diamond. The only way that diamond can be transformed into such a valuable substance is through the process of intense heat and pressure. Equally the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly acts as one of the greatest metaphors of change, improvement and transition. In the same way nature needs agitation to grow, the human life does also.
The Myth – Even though we’re all aware life throws us some really challenging turns at times, we still have a preconceived notion that everything we experience is supposed to be a hunky dory duck walk. There’s almost a silent inner voice that makes us believe that life owes us something and that failure, loss and pain are our greatest enemies. Let’s face it, we’re afraid to even contemplate that life is hard.
The Reality – The exciting news is that adversity actually works in our favor. In fact it’s our greatest asset for growth. Think about your hardest life moment, greatest loss, biggest disappointment or seemingly most embarrassing failure. While you’re going through it, the road to recovery seems long and hard. But a few years later there’s an anthem that rings, ‘I’m so glad that happened to me. It’s made me so much stronger’.
The Benefits – A life without any kind of adversity would leave us unaware, emotionally deficient and inexperienced. But there’s another factor which is more important than the adversity itself. It’s what we learn from the adversity that causes the growth. It’s who we become during the hardship that reaps the fruit of perseverance, courage, patience and self discipline. If we can treasure hunt the benefits, we’ll find opportunities that strengthen us internally, build our character and help us view life situations so much differently in the future.
I recently finished up a 6 week Mastermind Group using John C Maxwell’s latest book, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes you Learn. The book deals with failure, loss, how to live through them and ultimately learn from them. The book created such a solid platform for the participants to accept failure and loss as major growth factors.
Journeying through the book changed all of our minds, not to mention our heart position. We learned that if we’re not failing, we’re not growing. It was also a catalyst for us to realise that the real benefit of failure and loss are the lessons we learn as we walk through them. In fact I’d go as far as to say that failing is the easy part. After that comes the learning, the growing, the changing and the becoming.
I once heard someone say, “If you have a big pot of success, the first ingredient that should go into it is failure.” What a mind shift that was for me to hear that. Ever since then I’ve owned it as my mantra for success.
After gaining this new perspective on losing and learning I’ve added some questions to my journal so I can measure my growth over different periods of time.
1. What have I failed at this week, month, quarter, year?
2. What was my response?
3. What did I learn?
4. Who am I becoming in the process?
I encourage you to ask yourself these questions also and use them as a measure of your success. You’ll be amazed how quickly they tell the tale of movement or stagnation.
It’s well worth remembering that ’It’s a hard life but someone’s gotta live it’. And that someone just happens to be you.
Charmaine Sealey is a dedicated wife and mother of 2 and has over 16 years experience in the Travel & Tourism Industry. Charmaine travels across the Caribbean Coaching, Training and advising Hoteliers and Accommodation Suppliers on improving their Customer Service Delivery through growing their leadership and empowering their teams.
Her business Global Travel Solutions is a vehicle to offer her clients practical life tools needed to move them from where they are, to where they really dream to be.
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