“Most of us don’t learn much when life is going well. Unfortunately, most of us learn our lessons the hard way.”
There is no one on this planet who at some point in their journey has not failed. Every famous inventor has failed. Every world leader has failed. Every successful band has failed. But, a failure is not a person who fails; a failure is the person who does not bounce back.
We are all fragile, every one of us. We all encounter challenges and tensions. We all deal with financial pressures and emotional strains. And sometimes we fail.
Mistakes are something we do, not something we are. We are all prone to failure. You may ask ‘why did it happen to me? And why did it have to happen now?’ One thing I have learned is that, answering the why isn’t as important as learning to overcome the problem.
Challenge: It doesn’t matter who wants you to bounce back, it’s whether you want to bounce back. Everybody’s good intentions are irrelevant. The issue is, are you willing to piece your life together again and move on?
The great American footballer Otto Graham said, ‘Everyone can’t be the best at everything but everyone can try to be the best at anything.’ If you give 100% you will get your share of victories. Anyone who thinks he is good at everything generally is an expert at nothing. Have you ever met people who always know what to say in any situation, but whose own lives are not in order? They talk like they are experts in everything, but their lives don’t reflect their talk.
Challenge: Take a look at your life. What can you trim back? What do you need to prone so that you can be fruitful? Are you spreading yourself so thin that you don’t have time for your family and friends? Do you have time to smell the roses? Perhaps you need to prune some roses. You may even be able to give some of the pruned roses to someone as a gift. Take time now to think about how you can prune your life to make it more rewarding.
‘See everything, overlook a great deal, and prove a little’ Pope John Paul II
One of the life skills we need is the ability to be observant without being fault finding. We need to be able to notice things and yet at the same time able to overlook a great deal of what we see could be discouraging. Sometimes you see people getting away with wrongs and misbehaviors. Often you see people doing things you find offensive. You see injustices. Perhaps you see a serious fault in yourself. Maybe you see someone who becomes successful without really trying, while all your hardest endeavors reap little reward.
If that’s you, you may be very observant, but now you need to overlook. You need to overlook situations that can cause you to become disenfranchised or discouraged. Overlook other people’s failures, but deal with your own.
My friends, you are who you are. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. Instead, rest assured in the security that you are a human being with dignity, value and self respect. You are a success, not a mistake. You can accomplish great things.
All of us need to understand that greatness is within us. When we are convinced of this truth, we stop trying to prove our greatness to everybody else. We stop comparing ourselves to others and finding fault either in ourselves or them. We begin to overlook rather than criticize.
Challenge: If you want to learn one of the great lessons of life, learn to see and enjoy everything, overlook a great deal in others, and stop trying to prove yourself. Just be the person you were created to be.