Sometimes life delivers you a harder blow than usual. You can see it coming, but can’t avoid it. What do you do? It’s time to brace for impact.
I remember an occasion when I was in my car. I was stationary in a queue, waiting for the traffic in front of me to move on this long straight road. Suddenly, in my rear view mirror, I noticed a car approaching at speed from behind. I could tell by the rate at which the image was growing in the mirror that it was too fast. You know how things go into slow motion in films at times like this? That didn’t happen here. I knew it was going to hit me. I couldn’t move out of the way. There was certainly no time to dodge or escape my vehicle. I checked my seatbelt and braced for the impact. Happily, I survived. On this occasion, it turned out to be one of life’s more minor blows.
I was lucky.
That’s what life is like sometimes. It can feel like there’s a locomotive heading straight for you or a ten ton block falling from above. And there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
Sometimes the blow is soft; other times, harder than you could have possibly imagined. For Lance Armstrong, it was cancer. For Oprah Winfrey it was being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv”. For Donald Trump it may have been filing for bankruptcy in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009.
How do you survive the hardest blows? How can we recover and rebuild? To do that we need 3 things:
If you don’t truly want it, need it and desire it more than anything else, your life of success will forever elude you. Ask yourself daily: how much do I want success? If you’re not convinced by the answer, don’t expect anyone else to be.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. But you don’t just start tucking in. Make a plan, make it detailed and don’t just plan the beginning. If you don’t eat the tusks too, you won’t have done it at all.
Building your life the way you want it means having the grit to keep going. Despite the setbacks, small or large. Despite the disbelief from others. Despite your own internal demons, doubts and barriers.
The Next Step
For those of us focused on success on our own terms, surviving life isn’t good enough. We must create the life that we want. That means we have to learn to take the blows that life dishes out. We take them and turn them to our advantage. That’s all. No excuses, no fanfare. Deal with it and keep moving forward.