Even the best of intentions don’t always go as planned.
You can spend your entire life preparing for tomorrow only to have those plans derailed in an instant, forever changing (or forcing you to change) the direction of your life; an unplanned pregnancy puts your goals for the future on hold; a death in the family reminds you that life is short … too short to languish in a relationship with a partner who criticizes your every move; a job loss leaves you scrambling to make ends meet; or a diagnosis stamps an expiration date on your life.
How can you persevere and persist during these moments of difficulty?
Accept the things you cannot change. Recognize reality for what it is, not what you wish it were. Don’t continue ignoring your situation … quit acting like everything will be okay. Stop fighting against the truth and embrace reality so you can move your life forward. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, don’t pretend your time here is limitless. Fight like hell for a cure, and embrace what time you have left.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ V. Frankl
Take a wider look. It’s easy to be consumed by the details of the moment. Consider your situation in the context of a broader perspective. Our struggles are temporary; time will afford us an opportunity to see things more clearly. The moment we learn that someone close to us has died, our world falls to pieces. As time goes on, we’re more able to accept that death is as much a part of life as is birth; that it’s something we’ll each face one day.
Change your thinking. If you can’t change something, change the way you think about it. Rather than focusing on the worst that could happen, think of the best that might come. Instead of how much you’ve yet to do, consider how far you’ve come.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” ~ Gandhi
Learn your lesson. These situations are an opporunity to gain perspective and will change your outlook on life. If you’ve lost your job, you might come to realize money isn’t everything. Walking away from an emotionally void relationship will make you appreciate exactly how capable you really are. Don’t let an opportunity for growth slip by as you distance yourself from these periods of your life. Pause to reflect on the lessons you’ve learned through these experiences.
Find Support. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ J. Rohn
Despite the feeling of familiarity, your life will never be the same. Your only choice is to move forward into this strange new world to build your future upon a new foundation; one of fresh perspective, a different understanding, and a revitalized sense of purpose.