Setbacks and Lessons Learned

We all make mistakes. Some more serious than others and the time required to recover from them takes a little longer. In either case, we have the ability to learn from them and become better people. The question is, are you willing to learn? Are you willing to see through the difficulty and the negativity and find a positive to focus on? Albert Einstein said it best when he said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” In other words, that difficult situation you’re facing has the opportunity to make you a stronger person, a smarter person, a wiser person. You have the two options: (1) Face your giants (Max Lucado), or (2)run into that dark corner of your mind where you think it’s safe. It’s time to stop beating yourself up. It’s time to stop blaming yourself for the mistakes you made and understand that you are human. It’s time to learn from your mistakes and seize the opportunity within.

Life Redefined

Just my deep thoughts… Life redefines itself every time people who you felt shared a part in it comes and goes. Whether by fate or decision to walk away without explanation. And if by explanation, the question is “were they really your friend in the beginning?” Did they not share a moment or two of your life? Did they not say that you will always have a special place in their heart? Did you not open up to them your most vulnerable insecurities? You question “why did they leave?” No answer is ever good enough. So you accept silence never to understand and let go and give way to experience. Life Redefined.

More Appreciative

One of my reasons for taking the road trip to Atlanta was to get away from parts of my life for a little while.  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and look at things from another angle.  Sometimes you have to take yourself out of a stagnant, comfortable situation in order to see things different, from a different perspective.  Take yourself out of the box.

My plan was to also ride to Tennessee from Atlanta, but the little snag in the rental car process turned me off to the idea. At first I had a Toyota Camry, which I liked, but the outlets in the car didn’t work.  I wasn’t about to drive 4 hours without being able to charge my GPS and cellphone.  So I took the car back and they switched me out into a big ass Mercury Grand Marquis.  It looked like a police cruiser.  At the time of the transaction, I really didn’t care.  I just wanted to get on the road.  I was already an hour behind and I knew I was going to be stuck in Atlanta traffic.

As the day progressed, I became more and more irritated at the fact I was driving this monster.  It did had a lot of leg room, being that I’m 6 ft 5 in.  However, I felt that I should’ve just kept the Camry, drove to my place and grabbed the pc cable connector for my GPS, and just used my cellphone GPS until I can charge my  GPS.  I was usually good at letting things go, making the best of a setback, and looking for an alternative.  Not this time.

During my stay in Atlanta, I became appreciative of a lot of things.  The first thing I appreciated was my relationship with my girlfriend.  My best friend and his wife go through ups and downs.  I guess that’s the life of a marriage.  Though every relationship is different, I appreciate that my girlfriend and I don’t go through the same issues they go through.  Marriage is a bond that takes the strength of two people to make it work.

I appreciate having transportation and not taking it for granted.  Driving the big rental car made me realize that I missed riding in my truck, sitting high.  Haven’t had any major issues with my truck yet (knocks on wood).  I commute to work everyday in it.  However, for long trips like Atlanta, I would rent a car.

I appreciate having a constant opportunity to improve myself.  Now, taking advantage of the opportunity is another story.  I have the problem of being lazy at times and procrastinating.  In the end, I become angry and frustrated at the way I’m living my life.  On the way back from Atlanta, I stopped in Greenville, SC.  I always wanted to see the city and check out Reedy Falls and the suspension bridge.  The fall leaves were a reminder of how I let another season change without improving my personal growth.  The shaky bridge and falling golden red leaves made me think of how my life is because of not improving; swaying in the wind. I need to get moving.

Like I said before, sometimes you have to take yourself out of a situation, out of the box to see from a different angle.  Living a life of complacency and monotony is never good.  I realize that there is so much more for me; a better job, a better standard of living, just a better life.  No need sitting around wasting constant opportunities.



A Work in Progress


I realized its been a couple of months since I last posted.  To be honest I just haven’t had the urge to write.  It has been a stressful couple of months.

This past weekend I took a road trip to Atlanta.  I wanted to see my little niece.  I haven’t seen her since my best friend’s brother’s funeral a few months back.  She’s already walking. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend much time with her because she was sick and in a bad mood.  However, I was able to hold her and see her smile the night before I left.  Almost makes me want to be a father; almost.

The rest of the night I sat in my hotel room.  I tried to write a little but the words just wouldn’t manifest.   I started to think about some of the things in my life that needed work; some a lot of work.  Earlier that same morning while looking out the window I saw an unfinished building; another future hotel.  I related my life to this unfinished, incomplete structure.  A work in progress. It was evident that there was a lot more work to be done on the building.  I feel this way about my life…there is so much I need to do in my life.  My life is so much like this building.

Much more worse than you are…

This is one of the reasons why I hate watching the news. This morning, it was reported that Bank of America was going to be laying off over 3000 employees.

That is the norm now due to a poor economy. It was rather discouraging. The unemployment rate is increasing. People with MBAs and BA degrees can’t find jobs. Is this what I will be facing when I graduate next year? I have student loans to pay. I need a good job.

With all the bad news comes a humbling feeling. I may commute to a job I hate but I’m greatful I have a job that pays decent. However I do want to succeed to bigger and better things.

Your Attitude Affects the People Around You

Sometimes we are face with a situation that would get us down, put us in a sad mood, or have us in a rut.  During those times we may look to someone, a friend or a loved one, to talk to, to vent to and just listen, or provide some insight or advice from the outside looking in.

But what if you’re always down, in a bad mood, or in a funk and it starts to affect the people who you look to for support?  What happens when they become tired or emotionally drained from hearing your problems or complaints?  That’s when you start to look in the mirror and say to yourself “I’m sick of being down, I’m tired of being in a bad mood, I’m going to get myself together.”

Misery loves company.  That’s how the saying goes and it’s a true saying.  Imagine having a friend or a loved one who is always in a good mood or they may have a temporary “down in the dumps” moment and somehow pull themselves up.  It’s almost sickening and annoying that they are always in a good mood or speak positive to a situation that they may be facing.  Maybe sometimes you wish they would just disappear.

Or could it be the other way around?  Could it be that you’re sick and annoyed with the way you’re feeling and you just want to be somewhat happy despite the obstacles you face?  Could it be that you wish that you could disappear?

Well you could disappear.  Perhaps lock yourself in your home, turn your cell phone off, and shut yourself out from the world.  However, it’s not practical.  The other option is to sit down with some paper and a pen or a pencil and write down what is making you feel this way. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down.  It doesn’t have to make sense right now.  It could be anything, the traffic, the weather, that person who is always positive, your job, that annoying co-worker, whatever.

The next step is to sort these issues into two categories, controllable and non-controllable.  Think carefully if this situation is something you can change for the better or if its something that just has to be accepted.  There is a prayer that fits this step:  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Once you sort out these issues, focus on the ones you can change.  Think about what you can do to change this situation.  For example, if a co-worker constantly sends you emails or instant messages about updating something, a solution would be to tell your co-worker to send the information at one time later in the day during a certain time.  This way, you don’t have to stop what you are doing to handle your co-worker’s request.  If they continue to constantly send you messages, take it up a level to the manager.

Another example is actually part of the last example.  If your job is stressful or aggravating, or perhaps stagnant in terms of lack of work and advancement, maybe it’s time to find another job.  This is especially true if their are failed attempts to improve your current job environment by asking your employer for more work or skills improvement training.  I know it’s easier said then done.  I’m doing this right now.

You have to decide what you can do to change the situations you face in order to make life less stressful and frustrating.

The next step is very important.  Once you decide how you can change these problems, you have to put your words into actions.  All the talk in the word doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t get up and move and turn your goals into achievements.  Faith without works is dead.  You can hope for change, you can write what change could or should be, but change will never happen if all you do is sit there and complain about why your life is not what it should be.  And remember those same friends and loved ones who grew tired of your constant complaining?  They will not be around much longer to hear it.  They have their own problems.

Get up and get moving towards your happiness.  And if you fail remember this:  It’s better to have tried and failed than to not try at all.  This is your life.  LIVE IT!!!


Anything My Mind Can Think Of