A lot of people are born optimists and will say to themselves when facing difficult times – this is just a phase, and it will soon pass. Other people are born pessimists and instead tell themselves – this is the end of the world! Most of us are somewhere in the middle – the glass is both half full and half empty. In my new book Unbreakable I'll share a few tips on how to stay positive through tough times.
Never Give Up
A few years ago, a rap artist brought out a song called “I'm too legit to quit”. It's a catchy phrase and worth pondering if you're thinking of throwing in the towel. An unknown poet wrote:
Many a failure turns about,
when he might have won if he'd stuck it out
so stick to your task,
though the pace seems slow,
for you may succeed with one more blow.
That's the Storey of Irwin Rosenberg, a junior officer discharged from the American Navy when he was diagnosed with cancer. Rosenberg was determined to get his health back and get back to his job.
At one point he was given two weeks to live but with sheer determination and faith his cancer was brought under control. Restored to health, Rosenberg focused his attention on becoming a naval officer again, but he discovered that regulations forbid the reinstatement of a person discharged with cancer.
Someone told Rosenberg to give up as it would take an Act of Congress to get him reinstated. But that advice gave Rosenberg I knew target. He pursued an Act of Congress and after years of waiting, petitioning, cutting through red tape and battling the ever-present bureaucracy, President Truman signed into law a special bill that allowed Irwin Rosenberg to re-enlist in the Navy. The man went on to become a Rear Admiral in the United states 7th Fleet.
Sometimes amidst a crisis we can feel like giving up. We often ask ourselves “What's the point of it all? Everything is turning bad, people are getting poorer, sticker, older or their relationships are on life-support.“ But what we fail to realise is that a crisis also means we're very close to an almost paper thin breakthrough and we quit.
Imagine if the great tenor Pavarotti quit on his first singing lesson or Wayne Gretski gave up on his first attempt at ice hockey. What if Michael Jordan had quit in high school because he couldn't make the grade? All of us would have been robbed of the joy of their achievements and brilliance had brought us.
Like them, you must not quit. Don't quit on your dreams, on life, on your business, on hope … because it not only robs you, but others too. Your future is connected to others. It is important that daily you have a resolve that says – “I'm too legit to quit”.
You see you are not a failure because you fail; you are a failure if you give up. So, get up on your feet, wipe the dust off your shoes, wipe the sweat off your brow and remember you are too legit to quit.
Let me give you a few more examples. Gloria Estefan was a gifted singer then tragedy struck and left her almost crippled. Nelson Mandela was a promising lawyer when he was imprisoned by a suppressive South African regime. During his imprisonment the seasons moved on; the political climate changed. He walked out of that gaol to find freedom to express his vision for a new South Africa.
The amazing thing is that no season lasts forever. But the good news is that we can extend the seasons. You can't control the seasons, but you can extend the enjoyment of a season.
In my book Unbreakable, you will find inspirational stories, tips and advice on how to stay optimistic in tough times plus much much more.
But for now, I encourage you to:
- Take the long term approach
Where will you be a year from now, two years, ten years?
- Step outside of yourself:
Sometimes it is easier to find a solution if it’s not your problem. Pretend that someone else if facing this challenge – how can you help them?
- Accept that you can’t fix everything:
You know the prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed….” What is the point of worrying about what you can’t control or fix?
- Show Gratitude:
Regardless of how tough things are, remind yourself to be grateful for what you do have. Work to be mindful of positive things and be grateful for every little thing. Write down one event each day for seven days that makes you happy.
Whatever season you're in right now, whatever situation you find yourself in, understand that your season will pass. As that famous quote goes “And this too shall pass”.
Remember a crisis is always seasonal and the tide always turns.
Until next time
Yours in Prosperity