THE HARDEST THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG
If you’ve been reading our blog or newsletters over the past year or so, you know there’s a framed entry from Marc’s grandmother’s journal, dated September 16, 1977, hanging on the wall in our home office…
“Today I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way, I feel like the lucky one. Until now I have had no health problems. I’m a sixty-nine-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than seventeen.”
This journal entry is displayed in our office because it continues to remind us that there is always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad we have it right now, we must wake up each day thankful for our lives, because someone, somewhere is desperately fighting for theirs.
Marc and I recently attended a virtual birthday party to celebrate the 37th birthday of my childhood best friend, Janet. Six years ago, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer—devastating news for anyone, and especially for someone so young. Thankfully, she’s now in remission and has been cancer free for the past two years. When we were FaceTiming with her, she told us, “I am loving my thirties so much more than my twenties. I’m more confident, I know what I want out of life, know what my capabilities are. I know that life is limited, and that I only get this one life, and I’m doing my best to make the best of each and every day.”
Hearing Janet say those words was remarkable, because we saw how her perspective on the situation allowed her to view a horribly difficult time as an opportunity to understand what she wanted out of life. Her example reminded us that happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to use them as opportunities to change your perspective for the better. Think about your own life. What joy and opportunities might you see more clearly if your mind weren’t holding on so tightly to your struggles and disappointments? Remember, it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left, from moment to precious moment.
At our annual live seminar, Think Better, Live Better, Marc and I guide attendees through this process of perspective change—and breathing mindfully through life’s twists and turns.
Truth be told, inner peace begins the moment you take a new breath and choose not to allow an uncontrollable event to dominate you in the present. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become at this moment. Let go, breathe, and begin…