Everyone has a story. Life is hard (sometimes). We all experience something in life that makes it hard. In addition, if you look around, you will find stories everywhere of how people overcame a gutwrenching circumstance to emerge victorious, coming out the other side.
Health concerns, emotional and physical abuse, poverty, poor education, bankruptcy, and substance abuse are the main categories we usually consider when defining bad circumstances. There are, of course, many more.
As a preacher friend was known to say, “There’s a story on every pew.” That is so true.
On occasion, people get stuck in downward spirals. Professional help is needed to rescue them.
However, there are also some hero stories about people who accepted their situation but made conscious choices to climb out, get away from, or rise above the circumstance. It took grit, determination, and usually hard work, but it happened. They became something far different from that which the situation may have dictated.
Oprah has made a career of giving voice to people’s stories. She’s even launched full careers for other celebrities like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and Brendon Burchard, among others.
Another example is Tony Robbins. Listen closely to his origins story. It’s a tear-jerker (no disrespect.)
For most of the hard luck stories I know about, the people who became victorious had one big thing in common. They made a deeply rooted personal decision that they had a higher potential, a better purpose. This sense of possibility and purpose helped them shape a new life, and a new set of circumstances.
Every day, I am thankful for having a loving Mom who instilled that sense of purpose in me. I was never just one of the kids on the block. I was convinced I was unique and had a special purpose. We did NOT have money. We scrimped and saved wherever we could. I had odd jobs at an early age. I worked whenever I could to earn money for things I wanted. In high school, I joined JrROTC to get free clothes to wear 3 days a week. That was a good thing that eventually led me into a brief career as an Army Officer.
Rather than feel ‘less than’ due to our economic situation, I stood proud. It felt good to be who I was becoming. I believed in the purpose Mom kindled in me.
Another common theme when listening to these victory stories is the sense of vision. You can get there if you create a vision for the future state you want to achieve. Stephen R. Covey famously called it “begin with the end in mind.”
Knowing where you want to go is the only way to get somewhere. Whether you choose a particular career path, job opportunity, city to live in, or status you want to achieve, you must create the vision. Then the plan can be designed to get you across the goal line.
Life can be full of bad situations. Those are temporary. Choosing to call yourself less-than or a ‘loser’ is a permanent solution to a very temporary circumstance.
Instead, find a new belief in a higher purpose. Focus on possibilities. Those are limitless.