not what happens around us that determines where we end up, it’s what we do and
how we respond that makes that determination.”
This quote is all about personal responsibility. YOU are responsible for how your life turns out. Let me repeat that. YOU are responsible for how your life turns out. Events will happen that you cannot control, but YOU can control your reactions to those events.
I generally don’t talk about myself in this blog but I do believe some of my experiences are relevant to this post.
I have been let go from a job.
Three times in fact.
The first time was very scary. I was newly married and had a one year old son. How was I going to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table? Would it help to blame the company that decided to make changes? Of course not. The only thing to do was make some phone calls (network) to find a new opportunity. Was it a little embarrassing to call friends and business associates to tell them I was out of work? IT was, but that didn’t matter. I had a family and myself to support.
The second time was a little unnerving, but not nearly as scary (sort of a been there, done that sort of thing). I had been in this position before and it had all worked out. I went through the same drill as before and within 6 weeks I had found a new position with a great company and great people. The next 20 years were some of the most productive years of my life.
Number three was frustrating just because of what was happening in my personal life. My wife was undergoing chemotherapy for appendix cancer that ultimately took her life. Talk about feeling like the universe was screwing with me. Long story short (way too long of a story for a blog post) I find myself again gainfully employed and happily married to a wonderful woman.
Why share all this? To help make my point – life will throw you curve balls but it is how you handle those curves that determine where you end up. I always say that my story is the proverbial when one door closes another opens.
Did I have some bad days? You bet I did. We all do. But you cannot let those bad days take over. You have to find a way to take back control.
You may find that you need some help (a doctor, a therapist, some medication, a support group). You have to find what works best for you at that moment. My wife loves the saying “Suck it up, buttercup”. She uses it more as a joke but it is both blunt and true. It all comes back to ultimately taking responsibility for your life and how you deal with those curve balls.
You have more resources inside you than you even realize. When push comes to shove you are stronger than you know. Yes, there will be tough times and sad days. But you cannot let them overwhelm you or become the narrative of your life. Even if you can’t see it today, this world has so much to offer you, and YOU have so much to give to the world.
Take responsibility and take action when those inevitable curve balls come your way. You will find yourself on the other side of the challenge a stronger, wiser and happier person than you were before the curve ball came your way.