It’s a grey old day as I sit here and type. The rain has been pouring down all morning. My son is poorly and after a lot of tears he has finally relented and fallen asleep. The dog, who periodically gets up for a quick gaze out of the window to check if the rain has stopped, has now skulked back to his favorite spot snuggled up on the beanbag.
This got me thinking, as much as I hate being stuck indoors, we need the rain. We need the rain so that the flowers can grow, the crops can grow, the rivers can flow and essentially so that nature can do its thing. We need the down times to appreciate the good times.
And to take this thought further, sometimes a bit of pain or discomfort can be a blessing. Sometimes we need it to wake us up from plodding along an unfulfilling path and hopefully give us a surge of energy to propel us forward to the place we really want to be.
A lovely lady once shared a meme with me of a bow and arrow. (Search ‘an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward’ and you will find the one I mean.) The message is that when life seems to be dragging you down stay focused and keep aiming for what you want and eventually you will be propelled towards it. But for me, that is the key part, staying focused on what it is you do want, and all the good fortune you already enjoy. If you can imagine a future full of the things you want and enjoy the process of imagining that future you are more likely to find yourself inopportune places, meeting key people by ‘chance’ and discovering stepping stones that will get you to where you want to be. If you dwell on bad thoughts and feelings your focus will inevitably find more of that to inhabit your thoughts and it will keep pulling you in a downward spiral.
We need challenges to grow. There is no light without dark and there is no sound without silence or silence without sound. The saying, ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’ has just popped into my head and actually, when I think about it, is the essence of my Be Glad project www.BeGlad.co.uk. It’s all about gratitude and playing ‘the glad game,’ looking on the bright side of things especially on occasions when everything seemed against you but things actually worked out for the best in the long run. You may not have got what you thought you wanted, but in not getting that, space was created for something even better.
Some of our most fulfilling achievements that really make us proud are when we have overcome an obstacle, faced adversity and conquered it etc.
In coaching, even if something is blatantly obvious to me as a perfect solution and my client isn’t thinking as I would, I never give ‘MY’ answer, or ‘MY’ opinion (that is what mentors are for.) This is important because it would end up in a no-win situation. If my thoughts or suggestions didn’t work out for the client they would blame me, but more importantly, if things DID work out, my client would not be able to fully claim the satisfaction of the success. They would bestow credit to me and my suggested action. And that certainly doesn’t sit well with my goal of empowering people.
So my message is this, keep going - the next time the world seems to be dragging you down say a little thank you and look for the opportunity to accomplish something bigger and better beyond the current situation.
My son is awake again and I’m sure the rest of the day will be just as tediously grizzly as the morning; he’s very good at offering me opportunities to practice patience!
I’d love to know about a time when you thought everything was going wrong but in the long run, it actually worked out for the best. Maybe what first seemed an adversity actually propelled you towards something bigger and better than what you had originally hoped for.
Based on her own research, knowledge, personal and business experiences to date Polly writes regular blogs based on the themes of Health, Wealth and Happiness for Professional Spring. A support and networking community of like minded business women set up by Polly and her two friends Jacquie and Rupal.