The last few weeks have brought with them one of the biggest lessons in my life. There were no big catastrophes or bad news. It was just a bunch of little things that helped me lose my way and getting it back took some doing.
Let me explain. Life is full of different compartments. You have your home life, your work life, your interests, your friends and family, your contribution, your associations, etc. At different times in life you might have a great personal life and a bad work day, or a fight with your partner the same day you receive an award for volunteering. Usually, successful people have a fairly good time in all of the above. On a scale of 0 to 100, they might have one or two areas at a 90 and the rest of the areas between 80 and 90. People who are not successful might have one at 80 and everything else at 50 or below. It is up to you what you do to get your life on track where the sun shines on all areas and you have an 80 or above in all areas of your life.
Following the school grade analogy I started, I had a week about four weeks ago where I had a 30 on four areas of my life: my health, my family, work and my writing. Now, keep in mind, the scores on each area of your life are subjective and are yours to determine. For the outsider, I might have a great life. For me, it was just one thing after another. I’m not used to getting so many little things cause so much damage to my life. Like I said in the beginning, there was no major tragedy: nobody died or was diagnosed with a deadly disease, we did not lose our home or jobs. It was small things: a spat with a loved one, an interview that never happened, an opportunity that did not materialize. A day off that was not approved and news about changes at work all conspired to make for a crappy week. For some reason, that threw me for a loop.
Usually, I find the silver lining on everything and I recover from bad news fairly quickly. This time it was different. It was one of those occasions where it just brought me down, dropped my energy level. If I could have, I probably would have crawled under a rock and waited for the month to be over. I had definitely lost my way and now I needed to find a way to get it back. Life goes on and you start looking at your perspective.
I have often said that life is not what happens to you but what you choose to feel about what happens to you. Attitude is really important to get everything you want out of your life. So what did I do? I did the opposite of what I always say and I just cried a lot, felt sad and cried some more. Then I sent my family on vacation so that I could have the place all to myself. In the beauty of solitude it hit me. Even though I did not lose anything big, I was mourning for a dream that died that week. The fact that I did not fully recognize how much that opportunity meant to me was the reason why I did not understand why I was so sad. More importantly, we are all so busy that sometimes we miss the signs of how much we want something and how much it hurts when we don’t get it.
So I got up one morning and I started thinking about my attitude again. I am usually the one with the positive outlook, thinking there is a reason why everything happens, looking for the lesson, hoping for the best. I am the one who loves my job, even if it is not what I was expecting to do in my late 40s, loves the opportunity to write all the time and learn more about social media. I don’t watch a lot of tv to not distract myself from my goals. Instead, I have been eating gelato like it is going out of business, watching every crappy show on tv and just sulking in my pajamas.
I’ve had enough. Today I took out my notebook and started looking at what I love about my life right now. I started writing everything that I am thankful for. Little by little, the fog is lifting. We all have bad days and we all have different ways of mourning situations. Not every tragedy has to be big in order to affect us and it is ok to cry if you did not get that seat at the table. If you want to be invited to the next party, you have to prepare yourself, be better than yourself right now and watch what happens.
I am working hard to improve on all areas that affect my chances. What are you struggling with today? What are you doing to improve? Leave your story in the comments below and share this with your friends. Thanks.