Have you ever had a bad hair day? Did you look at your hair, on that day, with despair and say, ‘that’s it ... my life is over’? Of course you didn’t! You looked at it, laughed and thought ... ‘I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can look normal again.’ Was 2014 a year where things didn’t go quite as planned? Was it a year when some pretty crappy stuff happened? Are you looking back over 2014 with regret and looking forward at 2015 with despair? My suggestion is that you treat 2014 like a bad hair day!
One of my all time favourite movies is City Slickers. It is full of great moments; humour, entertainment and surprisingly enough … profound lessons. These lessons range from identifying your ‘one thing’ to overcoming negative thinking to pushing personal boundaries to the achievement of great success. This week - the first week of a new year - I want to highlight the concept of the ‘do-over’.
I won’t spoil the story if you haven’t seen the movie. There are three main characters, Mitch, Phil and Ed who are great friends, and have been since they were children. Phil had recently been through a tough time in his life, was facing some undesirable circumstances and, at the time of the short conversation below, was feeling pretty helpless and hopeless.
Phil: Ah, CHRIST!
[Phil begins to sob, and places his head on Mitch’s shoulder]
Mitch: [Mitch rubs and pats Phil’s back] Hey Phil, come on Philly... It's OK man, it's not that bad ...
Phil: [Phil’s head is still in Mitch's shoulder] My life is over! I'm almost 40 years old, and I'm at the end of my life!
Mitch: Phil, hey …you remember when we were kids, and we were playing ball, and we hit the ball over the fence out of bounds, and we yelled, DO OVER?
Ed: [grins, remembering] Yeah!
Mitch: Your life is a do over. You've got a clean slate.
Learn the lessons, pass the test then clean the slate.
I believe we face adversity and undesirable situations for two reasons … neither of those being ‘bad luck’. They occur to either teach us a lesson we need to learn or to test us and show us how strong and capable we really are. If we can look at adversity in this way, it’s much easier to find the positives, clean the slate and ‘do-over’.
In 2014 did you face a health issue? If so, did you learn the lesson and take control of your wellbeing? Did you experience a financial challenge? If so, did you learn the lesson to be smarter with your money and/or develop multiple income streams? Did you have to deal with relationship issues? If so, did you learn what you need to do to contribute to a loving relationship? Did you get lots of speeding fines? If so, did you learn to slow down? Did you get stuck on something you were trying to achieve? Did you learn the lesson and ask for help?
Are you with me? If you don’t take responsibility and learn the lessons now, the issues & problems will keep occurring and they will get progressively worse each time. Learn the lesson now, make the changes you need to make, clean the slate and then … DO OVER!
Did something undesirable happen in 2014 that seemed illogical, unfair and a barrier to you in your life? That’s good … it was a test to see how strong and amazing you really are. When I decided to write the book about my mum and her 15 year cancer journey I was committed to make it happen. But as soon as the decision was made I was tested to see just how strong that commitment was.
Two months after the initial decision she passed away … I was a mess. Less than 10 months after that my relationship of 10 years ended … badly! After picking myself up and dusting myself off, some 4 years later, I finally finished the manuscript. I sent it to my publishers … they didn’t want to publish it! I sent out about 30 manuscripts to different publishers and got rejected or ignored by 100% of them … I was on the verge of giving up! But I realised I was being tested, so I got stronger, kept going and six and a half years after starting, I held a copy of Dance Until It Rains in my hands.
2015 is your ‘do-over’ year
I don’t know what happened to you in 2014 … I hope it was amazing. I’m guessing some undesirable stuff happened, at some point, to keep you on your toes. Can you categorise the adversity? Does it go under the banner of ‘lessons to learn’ or ‘tests for strength and resilience’? If it was a lesson to learn … did you learn it? If it was a test … did you pass it?
Regardless of what it was and how you categorised it, are you ready to clean the slate?
Are you ready to re-set yourself and start afresh in 2015? It’s all ahead of you … a new year, new opportunities and a new direction.
It’s there waiting for you to press the button and ‘DO OVER’!
With many thanks to Andrew Jobling
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