Bouncing Back from Tough Times with Self-Encouragement, Part 2
This is the second installment in a 3-part series.
Where the Miracle Begins
Sometimes, defeat is the best beginning. Why? Well for one thing, if you’re at the very bottom, there’s only one way to go—up. But more important, if you’re flat on your back, mentally and financially, you’ll usually become sufficiently disgusted to reach way deep down inside yourself and pull out miracles. Pull out talents and pull out abilities and pull out your desires and determination. When you’re flat broke or flat miserable, you’ll eventually become so disgusted that you’ll pull out the basic essentials required to make everything better.
It’s in the face of adversity that things begin to change, that you begin to change. With enough disgust, desire and determination to change your life, you’ll start saying, “I’ve had it. Enough of this. No more. Never again!”
Here’s where the miracle begins. “I’ve had it. Enough. No more. Never again.” These words and these thoughts really rattle the power of time and fate and circumstances. And these three things, time and fate and circumstances, all get together and say, “Okay. Okay. We can see that we have no power here; we’re facing some major resolve! This guy’s not going to give up. He’s had it. He’s done with all this nonsense. We’d better step aside and let this guy get by!” Inspiration through disgust.
A lot of people don’t change themselves. They wait for change. These poor unfortunate folks accept their defeats and wallow in their self-pity. Why? Because they refuse to take control of the situation. They refuse to take control of their life, their career, their health, their relationships, their finances. They refuse to take responsibility and get sufficiently disgusted to change it.
If you are disgusted, if you are in need of some change, if this finds you in the middle of your own personal slump, then I have some words to offer. Your present failure is a temporary condition. It is only a temporary condition. You will rebound from failure, just as surely as you gravitated into failure.
One time, when I was in the midst of a bout of failure, somebody suggested that I should tell myself, “This too shall pass.” I firmly believe that you’re only given as much as you can handle, as much negativity, as much failure, as much disappointment. This too shall pass, if you grasp for a new beginning. You need to pull yourself up and move back into the world with a plan.
As foolish as it might sound, you should be thankful for your current limitations or failures. They are the building blocks from which to create greatness. You can go where you want to go. You can do what you want to do. You can become what you want to become. You can do it all, starting now, right where you are.
A father talks about his daughter. She’s gone through some pretty tough times, and as he tells it, she’s a pretty tough person. He has a unique way of describing his daughter’s situation, though. While most parents would be frantic, even for their kids who are grown and gone, this man just smiles and says that his daughter is like a frog in a jar of cream: She keeps kicking and kicking and kicking, and pretty soon the milk will turn into a lump of butter and she’ll be able to jump out. That’s an interesting illustration of tenacity, because that’s how it really works. You’ve got to keep trying and trying and trying. You’ve got to have enough resolve to do it until.
Some of the most inspiring success stories have started with failure. Longfellow started in failure. Michelangelo started in failure. Lincoln started in failure. Rod Serling wrote 40 stories before he had one that was accepted. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper that felt he had no talent. Richard Byrd crashed his plane on his first solo trip before he became one of the world’s greatest explorers. And the success stories continue.
Be grateful for your adversity. At the same time, make sure that it’s working for your future, not against you. Make your failures give birth to great opportunity, not prolonged agony. Make your disgust lead to inspiration, not depression. The world will willingly sit by and let you wallow in your sorrows… until you die broke and alone. And here’s what else the world will do. The world will step aside and let you by, once you decide that your present situation is only temporary. The doors will open once you decide to get back on your feet and make your mark.
You have to care. In your own enlightened self-interest, give a run at adventure. Keep your eyes firmly set on achievement. Don’t settle for mere existence and self-pity. Make a commitment to excellence. And remember, it is your challenge, your own personal challenge, to use all your gifts and skills and talents and knowledge to survive and succeed - JR