Community//

My Biggest Challenge in 2017

When you look back on how you’ve grown over your life, what jumps out as the toughest lesson you’ve ever learned?

People often say that the best way to learn is by doing. Trial and error is one effective way to discover who we are, what we want and how we define success. Self-reflection is a wonderful thing. When we reflect over our past, there are some memories that we are happy to relive and yet there are others that still sting when we think about it. I think everyone should pause and reflect on their life, at minimum once a year. Reflection is a wonderful tool you should use when your mind is at peace and you can distinctly pinpoint the curveballs life threw at you, your reaction to it and the end result. It is upon reflection that you identify whether or not your reaction was the best course of action.

Mistakes are an essential part of growth. No one should feel bad or angry at themselves if they handled something wrong. As humans we are all fallible, and we all make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from our errors because it adds to our sphere of knowledge and encourages us to further grow and evolve.

The seasons of life tends to affect us in different ways. I know there are many more lessons to come and I am ready, open and receptive to them all.

Over the many lessons I have learnt throughout my lifetime, the one that stands out for me this year is the fact that you cannot control your life, but you can control yourself. 2017 has been the most challenging year I have faced. Things that could go wrong, did go wrong and although 2017 had quite a few positive flows to it, like the fact that my friend and I are being featured in a book and a lot of our work was published on different publishing platforms, overall the year was challenging, emotionally and mentally draining and sometimes downright sad.

As we all know there are circumstances in life we cannot control. Such is life.

However I have always held onto the belief that everything happens for a reason and that reason generally leads you to another destiny. There are always going to be circumstances in life you cannot always control such as being born into a dysfunctional family, living with a disability, becoming a victim to an unforeseen accident and the list goes on.

When you go through life’s challenges, you have the choice to either fall apart and become a victim of the circumstances, or you can rise up high and above others.

— Mo Seetubtim

I had 2 choices. I could fall apart and bitch and moan and feel sorry for myself OR I could utilise the resources I had at my disposal and rise above it.

For a brief moment the first option was tempting because I wanted to lament and figure out why this had to happen to me and my family. I was a good person, my husband was a good person, what did we do to deserve this cruel twist of fate? However, being positive by nature I couldn’t stay in my lamentations for long. So after speaking with my husband we both decided to accept the situation and figure out an action plan how we will get through this- financially and mentally.

Going through life’s challenges requires strength — a lot of strength — both mental and physical because they go hand in hand. Sometimes though you don’t always feel strong and that is why it is important to receive support from family and friends. You can’t change the way things are but you can change the way you look at things. Face that storm in your life head on and don’t be afraid.

The one verse that kept passing through my mind was “This too shall pass”.

It is one of my favourite phrases and I always say it to myself in times of tribulations: This too shall pass.

Nothing bad lasts forever. It is the reminder we all need in our lives because hope is our greatest ally. Once we lose hope, we lose ourselves and succumb to our vulnerability. I harnessed this pain and disappointment to motivate myself- to become even more determined to fight for what is right, to work even harder and to put myself out there and succeed.

The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.

— Tony Robbins

Surrendering to life’s curveballs, you become weak and vulnerable. For some people it is tempting to be influenced by drugs and alcohol which you think could help you heal. Yet, in my eyes that is the easy way out. You cannot rely on an enhancement to make you feel better- yes you might feel great for awhile and you forget all your troubles. However, the feeling only lasts for a brief period of time and once the enhancements lose effect, you remember exactly where you are. Nothing’s changed.

Thank God that thought never crossed my mind. I know that I am in control of myself no matter what happens and I know that with time, and with the right tools, this too shall pass.

I know that no matter what happens throughout my life I will be just fine. I think my spiritual side helps me because I know my life is in the hands of my creator who will not throw anything at me that I cannot handle. The strength I have built up over this past year has become one of the most valuable assets I have. I know I have the willpower to combat anything in life.

Knowing that you are a strong person is a blessing. Because the power of the mind is very powerful.

For the first 6 months of the year, due to circumstances beyond our control we were facing financial challenges, and that’s never easy. When you are in a good financial situation, you probably find joy through activities such as dining out, going to events, shopping, and travelling. However, when life gets tough, you cannot afford to do those things.

Life got tough for me financially which is something I have never been through so it was all new to me. I was fortunate to grow up in a well to do family where I always received everything I wanted. I then held a good job and made good money, so to face financial hardship was new territory and it made me feel uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, as time went on I started to appreciate the value of money. I learnt to enjoy the simple things in life, like going on a nature hike and soaking in the views, cooking dinner, but mostly just looking around and appreciating what I have and what I being fortunate enough to do with my life for the past 32 years.

I wish I learnt to appreciate the value of money earlier on in my life, but because I never had to worry about money it is my lesson I had to learn at age 32. This point of self reflection always puts life in perspective and you realise that no matter what you face, life is not too bad after all.

2017 was a year where I accepted the fact that crap happened to teach me something- the value of money. It encouraged me to evolve, further grow and to be more financially savvy.

Sometimes the uncomfortable things in life are there to teach us lessons because to go through a change of habit, we need to feel uncomfortable.

— Mo Seetubtim

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.