I have never met anyone who won every battle they fought or who got through every altercation unscathed. As mere mortals, we experience plenty of successes and failures. We regularly witness or experience both personal and business tragedies but in most cases we manage to persevere. The question is – how will we carry the scars of battle?
The key, in my opinion, is how we choose to view and tell our story. When a tragedy happens, do we take it as confirmation of our own failings, or do we look for lessons that we can learn from the episode? It’s never easy and I don’t want to trivialize the emotion of the moment or the sorrow of human suffering. When we first encounter the sorrow or the fear or the hurt, we have no choice but to cope – any way we can. But once we survive the episode, when we have time to breathe, how do we talk about the event?
We have a choice.
We can view the event as part of our long tale of woe and make it so. Or we can view the event as a stepping stone that leads us onward and upward.
Sometimes, we can only see the positives when we look back over our lives. The same events that at the time were heart-stopping and deadly, in retrospect, turn out to be the very events that propelled us forward into our best moments.
In my case, my dream to be a speaker and communicator was realized when I spoke at Tedx Napa Valley in September. I got there through a series of high and lows, twists and turns, laughter and tears. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the lessons I have learned.
What about you? Do you have scars or tattoos that tell the story of your life?