How to Dance in the Rain

“Some people come into your life as blessings. Other people come into your life as lessons.”

Mother Teresa

There’s an ancient Italian maxim that roughly translates to ‘he who is resistant to change is destined to perish’*. When things are good — work is — we hold on to that good thing like we’ve glued our hands to it. We keep doing the same thing over and over expecting things to always work the way it did the first time. And when things are bad, all we want is for things to change, but we cling to what we know like a life-preserver for dear life because everything is so unassured and unknown.

Which hits on the problem (if you want to call it a problem) with change:

We all want change that works for us, and we don’t want change that doesn’t work for us. We want to bend change to our will, and not the other way around.

However, Life likes spontaneity and flow. Change happens whether we want it to or not. Sometimes things happen we don’t want to happen to us. We lose money, we lose our job, we break our leg, we end up in circumstances we don’t want to be in.

Water that becomes still and doesn’t connect to other streams, rivers and movement quickly becomes stagnant — a breading ground for pesky mosquitoes and parasites. We too can become stagnant if we aren’t intentional. Our skills, bodies, friends, and wither away into man-boobs. Without change in our we can quickly become stale, complacent and stuck where we are. And too much spontaneity we can become unstable and reckless.

We automatically assume that things we don’t want to happen (or didn’t expect to happen to us is a bad thing, but what if misfortunes are a good thing? Maybe not now. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday. What if it makes you a better you? What if it changes your life for the better?

I’m not justifying or saying I want bad things to happen to us, but when they do, we’ve ultimately got a choice: thrash against them, make things worse and mentally negative, or let it go and turn it into an opportunity.

For every problem you are focusing on, there’s an opportunity you could focus on instead.

*inside joke 😉

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #669

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The Gift of Pain

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

The earth continuously spins at a lazy one thousand miles per hour. Roughly every 24 hours, it completes its race and begins a new – the ultimate example that shows steady and slow wins the race.

Is it because of death we feel compelled to hurry up and get things over with? Life is short for each of us. Time ticks on, whether we are working on our dreams or not. Perhaps our patience is at its thinnest when we faced with pain, dislike and fear.

I don’t know a single person who enjoys spending time in wall to wall traffic. But there’s also those of us who, when faced with an uncomfortable reality, want nothing more than to move past it. Like swatting flies out of our food, we want nothing more than to get rid of our circumstances and setbacks.

“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”

Aristotle

It depends on how you look at it, but setbacks and pain can be gifts if you let it. As sucky as they are, our circumstances are teaching us hidden lessons on how to live better if we let them. Nobody wants to be in debt up to their noses. Nobody wants to feel the pain of a heartbreak or the ache of an injury. Depression, anxiety, negativity, bitterness, backstabbing, fear, and discouragement aren’t exactly a fun party to be in.

I’d hate to say that setbacks and pain are trying to teach us something important, but maybe they are trying to teach us something important.

Pain, failure and bad circumstances raise our awareness and show us how to live better than we were previously. They stop us, so that we can slow down, think more wisely and go after a life of meaning.

We might have to dig ourselves out of a hole now, but when (not if, when) we finally crawl over the top, we have a new and better way to live and a story to tell.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #648

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