“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% in how you react to it.”- Charles R. Swindoll
How do you see your future? What are your dreams? If you are like me, you probably want to be successful in all those areas of your life that are important to you.
Do you ever wish that you could have a strong faith and believe in yourself so that you could easily overcome the obstacles that life throws your way?
Have you ever been in a crisis that you were not expecting? Maybe, you got fired or lost an investment; your best friend betrayed you or the person that you loved, decided to walk away?
Life can sometimes be a struggle, and as a result, there will always be obstacles on our way. Often, the battles are internal. Therefore, we have fears, anxiety, and feel like there is no hope. And you wonder: What if? What if I could overcome that obstacle? What if I could achieve that dream?
You want it so bad, but it is not that easy. The negative voice inside of you gets louder and louder. As a result, you end up lacking self-confidence and maybe even lose hope that better things are possible. I have been in that situation many times.
I had a thriving business in a great place that I was renting. Things were looking up, and I was happy and challenged. I was grateful to have such an opportunity to take care of my family, have success, and the financial stability that I needed.
My business is seasonal, and we were opening in two months and were in full preparations. Ticket sales were going exceptionally well. I was happy.
Then the phone call came:
“Hello? Mr. Landivar, We want to inform you that we are stopping the rental contract. Please come to our office to discuss the termination and the terms.”
I was driving when I received the call. I had to stop to compose myself, panic overtook me, and hundred of questions raced through my mind: What? How can they do that? It’s not fair! What will I tell the 900 clients that have already bought tickets?
How will I earn money for this coming year? What will my wife say? She will worry, etc. When I got home, I did not have the heart to tell my wife. I took the time to digest the news and think about what I could do.
It was then that I got reminded of a quote and a lesson that I had recently learn, and I was teaching.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it, that matters”- Epictetus.
Think about it, Epictetus was a Greek philosopher that lived in the year 135 AD-, and I am writing this in 2020, what does it tell you? That we all are in the same boat!
As I understand now, knowing how to do something intellectually means nothing until we do it. Above all, the real power is in our Psychology, when we act on the principles we know to be true.
Why waste time worrying about something I could not change? I understood that the “fairy” was not coming to save me, and if things were going to change and get better, I had to find a way to do it.
For the next three hours, my thoughts were about the possible solutions to what I could do.
When I finally sat down to talk with my wife, my heart was pounding. I did not want to disappoint her. And I was able to share the bad news, while at the same time, telling her my plan of action and the possibilities we had despite this setback.
It made a big difference in how she took it, as she is the type of person to worry a lot more than I about things like this. At that moment, my faith, my confidence, and hope for better things were contagious, and she reacted better than I expected.
Are you wondering about the outcome of the story? Well, we were able to find a new place, move our clients there, and the new situation proved better than the one we left behind.
The first lesson is clear: We need to focus not on what we have lost, but in what we have and what we can do. We must focus on what we have control over, and not about what we cannot control, and finally, we must take action accordingly.
Another lesson I learned in that experience is that, like Tony Robbins says: “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” What does it mean?
It means that I did the right thing. I took action, instead of waiting for them to change their mind, instead of complaining that life wasn’t fair.
The power was within me to change the situation, and I did. And so can you, no matter what you are faced with in your life right now.
Sometimes, it all comes down to the meaning we give to things. Is life against you or for you? Is it a horrible situation or a challenge that you must learn to overcome? Is a rock blocking your way, or is it a stepping stone to greater things?
And the last lesson I want to share, what I have learned, and it is also my life’s convictions or message is this. I believe in faith, hope, and love. I sincerely believe that with faith, we can move mountains.
We should never lose hope but have the certainty that the best is yet to come if we take action on our dreams. I believe that love is the primary motivating force in every great achievement in humanity.
Will there be obstacles? Sure! There will be those that will tell you that it cannot be done! There will be times when it will get complicated, and you will doubt yourself. You will be afraid, but then you will act with courage because you have faith, hope, and love.
Courage doesn’t mean that you are fearless, it means that you are scared, but you do it anyway! Remember that, and do not give up! Do not listen to the naysayers; do not listen to your critics.
They never build statues of critics. People only make statues of heroes. And what is a hero? It is an ordinary person just like you and I that fought for an idea and did not give up but believed it was possible.
Be a hero to your family! Be a hero to your friends, to your community. Do show up, and fight for your success, do what you know is right. Will you make mistakes? Yes! Will you sometimes fail? Of course! But as long as you keep on believing, nothing will stop you, and you will win in the end.
Identify one area of your life right now that seems impossible, take pen and paper and take the time to think in terms of solutions. Then start executing your ideas and plans, one step at the time, and see miracles happen.
Always remember, there are faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love!
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