Selected Life Lesson
Life is a like a roller coaster – when things are going downhill, if you hang on long enough, eventually you’ll go back up again.
-Betty K’s lesson from Mason City, Iowa
I remember growing up that I never ever EVER would go on roller coasters. It wasn’t until high school when I was with my church youth group that I succumbed to peer-pressure and finally got in line to go on “Wild Thing” up at Valley Fair in Minnesota. And what a ride! On that one trip, I became hooked on the ups and downs, twists and turns, and the pure adventure of the roller coaster.
But life, just like the coaster, goes up and then goes down and then it goes back up again. But here is the great thing – on a roller coaster you know where you are going; no matter if you’re up or down, you know the end. In life, when you’re up you have a lot of choices. If you’re down, you also have choices.
In those down moments, you have the option of staying on the same course, taking a break, or completely changing your course to see your other options. Never close your eyes, keep them fixed on the horizon and you’ll be back up again in no time.
Jon Foreman, the lead singer of my favorite band Switchfoot once said, “[…] unlimited undos. I wish I had that in life.” The great thing is: We do!
In life, we get as many chances as we need to find answers and ask questions. We have our whole lives to figures things out and reach our dreams.
No matter how many times we slip up and fall short of our dreams, we get to go back to the drawing board. 99.9 percent of people (yeah, I’m just guessing) get it wrong the first time. Remember, you’re a beta test. You’re testing yourself. You’re testing your plan. You’re testing your programming.
It’s just like me on a tennis court. No matter how many times I play and how many times I win or lose, I’m still learning. I’m still perfecting my game and my attitude.
I could list off tons of areas of my life when I am constantly testing myself and upgrading my skills and performance level. One of the things I’m doing a beta test on this year is my creative writing. (See my new Life-Debt Series.)
What are some areas of your life you’re like to speed up the beta testing?
(Flickr photo via 3d debay)
This Week’s Lesson
The things I have worried about are never as bad if they actually happen.
-Linda L’s life lesson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Growing up I used to worry about everything. I remember as a 10 or 12 year old, we were on a family vacation to the southwest and I constantly asked my dad where we were going next, what time we’d get there, did our hotel have a pool. Boy, what a pain I must have been! But this has me thinking: What other things have I spent too much time worrying about?
When I was just a freshman and sophomore in high school, I was emailing teachers and college professors questions about how to get the career I wanted. Little did I know then, ten years ago, that this is what I would be doing! I’m loving thinking about how much energy I wasted back then worry about what today would look like.
Instead, today I am living in the moment, but still planning for the future. I do spend a lot of time planning my weeks, months and years and I’m proud of that. But I don’t worry. I have a rainy-day fund set aside in case I need it, but I don’t worry about it. I don’t worry as much about where my career is going to take me. Things are always changing and I’m doing my best to enjoy wherever that journey winds. I hope you can do the same.
I recently received an email after one of my FOCUS emails from someone who signed-up at one of my workshops this summer. My FOCUS message was about the ripple effect of kindness and what I did to start my ripple. (In case you are wondering, I sent a greeting card with a gift certificate inside to an old friend.)
I received an email from this woman now only thanking me for the message, but praising the idea of a random card. Of course, she works at Hallmark so it’s in her blood to have this mentality. But she said, working for a company that is all about “enriching” people’s lives, it was exciting to see me write about the ripple effect that these random acts of kindness have in the enrichment of all our lives.
So, I implore you to do two things:
Finally, as a special gift, the first person to comment on this post with the correct answer to the following question (and who supplies their email address, which is kept private from the post) will receive a personal card from me within the next two months with a special message inside!
Question: What was my campaign slogan when I ran for mayor of Mason City in 2002?
(flickr photo by mrsenil)