Woof! Finding the Gems of Life in the Tough Stuff
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Every adversity, every disappointment, and every defeat carry seeds of equivalent benefit ~ Napoleon Hill
On the road to exponential learning and growth, there is one mindset that truly serves me well more than any other. That mindset is finding what is good, beneficial, and useful in all situations, especially events that are tough and difficult.
Life became easier when I saw everything I encountered unfolding from a perspective of growth. I used to worry about events, people, and things disappearing from my life because I feared I had something to lose.
I was trying to control life. Mother Nature, in turn, taught me a great lesson.
She showed me that change is inevitable and there was nothing I could do about it.
So, instead of fighting life, I decided to flow with it.
A few years ago, my dog Brandy was in the final months of her 16 year life and I was grieving her eventual death. She wasn’t gone yet. However, I found myself wishing I had more time with her. Then it dawned on me that I did have time, right then and there.
So, I decided to enjoy what time was left. I saw what was good in a painful adversity. As I did that, I reflected on her doggy life and realized she taught me one of the most valuable tools I possessed…patience.
That’s right, my dog taught me the gem of patience.
As I let it sink in exactly how she brought that gift to me, I thought back to all the times she waited on me to attend to her. She just sat in the corner of the room waiting. Of course, I was too busy to be bothered with all the stuff I had to get done. And there she sat in the room waiting for me, day after day, time after time.
And I noticed.
I noticed how she seemed to be the last thing I got to in my day. Brandy could have gotten so bothered and upset with me. On the rare occasion, she did. She would rise up and let out one loud bark at me, as if to say, “Enough! Give me some love mister!” And I did with great joy.
But then she would go back to her unassuming patience with me. One day I thought, “What a concept, I should try this out.”
So, when I found myself waiting in line at the grocery or the airport, I thought back to Brandy waiting in the room for me to finish all my stuff to finally get to her.
And while in line, a funny thing happened. While most people started huffing and puffing and getting upset that their day was so inconveniently interrupted, I waited without reaction just like my dog did for me.
Oh, how the most precious things in life show up in the most unassuming of circumstances!
I can’t tell you how many times I got to the counter and the person serving the line said, “Thank you so much for being patient! I noticed you not getting upset, oh thank you so much.”
After every single one of those encounters I thought, “I have something very valuable here.”
As I practiced patience more and more, the results got better and better. The more I was willing to be calm and wait, the more peace I had regardless of the ensuing chaos around me. I learned to fully allow things to unfold as they were going to anyway. I learned to control my reaction and not the situation itself.
I was at peace with the flow of life. I decided to use that flow for my benefit instead of resisting against it.
And so, when Brandy died a few months later in a circle of our love, I found myself grieving her loss and being thankful for the good in her life.
As I did, the gift of patience stood up for attention.
And I noticed.
I held up my hands in gratitude and thanked God that I was able to see the gift of her life in action, use it for my benefit, and experience the peace that comes with applying patience.
Patience had slipped in the backdoor in the form of my beloved dog Brandy and I saw it.
Finding the good in every situation you face, good and bad, becomes an undeniable positive mindset that helps you learn and grow beyond what you ever thought possible. It puts loss in perspective, showing you that everything that comes from pain is for your gain if you will see it as such.
My dog Brandy did that for me.
See the good in every experience you encounter and the good can’t help but see you. In doing so, you might find a surprise gem that will change the course of your life forevermore.
Go ahead, it’s waiting patiently on you.