When life throws you a curveball, what do you do? You duck and rejoice, get hit and moan, or catch it swing it back. The fourth choice you have is to get hit, save yourself, savor the lessons it teaches, and grow from the experience.
There is no dearth of difficulties in people’s lives. There is no one on this planet that hasn’t had at least one googly (to use another term for this fun life experience!) thrown at them. People can get horrendously sick, some lose their job or/and their home, some experience awful flooding in which their belongings disappear into the sea. A loved one dies, a loved one cheats on you, an enemy pays you a nasty visit, you fail your exams, friends break up, and your house collapses due to strong earthquake…. You have an accident and total your car, and you end up with a whiplash, etc, etc…. you get what I mean? Things that happen to us- there is an endless list of possibilities. All of us have experienced one or the other or more than one!
“We have to be winners, not losers”, I quipped, sitting in my doctor’s office one day. Funny that he reminded me of that just the other day! How do we ‘win’ in these circumstances? How do we win after a flood, or when my car is totally damaged and I am injured? Who wins when friends break up or a marriage breaks up? Or when you have a shouting spree with your spouse? There is really no winner in that one!
Nah! It’s not about winning here – as in winning a gold medal or coming on top of a class. It is really about having a winning attitude and a positive outlook. If I lose all my belongings in a flood or in an earthquake, I am not going to feel very good for a long time. So, what can I do? Or if I lose my job and my salary that comes with it, what then? Rest assured, first – I will not believe that it happened to me. I will be angry, terribly angry! With who? Whoever comes in my way and perhaps, God! Then, I will be absolutely depressed because it seems like the end of the world is upon me. And you want me to be a winner? How is that possible?
Seriously speaking, what we may try to do is to pick up the pieces after the initial shock and after-effects have passed. Whatever happens, a winner accepts responsibility for his/her actions, a winner thinks ahead and plans for success, has a positive attitude and sees situations as challenges to grow and develop from, rather than be a complainer and whiner. A winner tries to excel and constantly improve and surrounds themselves with optimism and positive people. A loser or victim has the mentality of “why me?” Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they blame others and expect the worst from people and experiences.
Easier said than done! How can I feel strong and ready to take positive action after a calamity has befallen me? From my experiences, I have seen that if I sulk and feel bad about something, those feelings will drag me down further. I have seen the ‘Poor me’ attitude of many folks and what do they achieve? Nothing much except negativity, conflict, heightened anxiety, and ill health. So, why not give the benefit of doubt to life’s curveballs and start to think like there is a wonderful life at the end of tunnel? That wonderful outcome can come today, tomorrow, or 10 years hence. But it will come and in the meantime, with positive attitude- an attitude of a winner, one can start looking up and gain strength. We often heard the saying- ‘No pain, no gain’. This one makes sense when you are having a hard workout in the gym, by the way!
Using this maxim in our life’s experiences, isn’t it best take any instance of pain as a challenge to learn and grow from? If we take care of our present, our future and our past will fall in line! Have a winner’s attitude, think positive, surround yourself with optimistic people, accept the curveballs and googlies with open arms and an open mind, and thank your lucky stars you received a chance to become a better and stronger person!