When I ended up out of my college hoops program as a junior, it was a bad break resulting from bad luck.
But, it triggered two good things —
1) A “me vs. the world” mentality that I used as motivation to drive my actions. That energy powered me to my goal of making it to the professional level.
2) The story of what had happened, combined with the happy ending that came after, made for the ultimate comeback story — and story that audiences love hearing to this day.
I didn’t think about it in exactly that way when it occurred; I was naturally dealing with the shock of what had just happened. But, within 72 hours, I was already reorganizing my mind, looking at the “new normal” of my life, and figuring what my next steps would need to be.
Could I transfer to another school to play?
How would I work on my game around my classes and the basketball team’s schedule (since our campus had only one gym)? What did I need to work on?
How exactly could I get my shot at playing at the next level?
The process had changed; the goal had not.
That bad break and bad luck actually helped me. The story wouldn’t be as impressive, and I wouldn’t look as much like a superhero, without it.
BUT, notice that I was looking for the flip side of the situation to find it.
Most of what we see as bad breaks / bad luck can be turned around and used to our benefit. What keeps many of us from getting to those benefits is that we —
1) Focus so much on the unwanted thing that it becomes our ONLY focus and we never move past it — or, we allow the unwanted stuff to stop us completely — and the story just ends at that spot.
When that happens, we…
2) Never reorient ourselves to the “new normal” of our lives after the bad break occurs. We focus so much on what we’ve lost, or how someone did us wrong, or why bad luck has rained on our parade AGAIN, that we never ask the quality questions that would help us to make the most of the updated circumstances.
It’s cliche to tell yourself to “look on the bright side” when things go left on us. But it’s cliche because it’s good, truth-based advice that would help you if you followed it.
Where’s the opportunity here?
What door has opened now with this door closed?
How can I turn this to my advantage?
What would ______ (successful, creative person you admire) do in this circumstance?
The “basics” are the basics for a reason: All the complicated stuff is built on their foundation.
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