Turning Lemons into Lemonade

June 28, 2014 4:29 pm

This is the week before the 4th of July and I hope you are planning something fun for the holiday.  Of course, “fun” is defined very differently by each of us.  For some it’s the flurry of Independence Day activities with parades, concerts, fireworks and the like.  For others, it may be a quiet day to just chill and grill outside. Maybe the long week-end is allowing a good visit with friends or family you don’t see too frequently. Whatever it is for you, I hope it’s grand.

Based on some things that are going on in my personal and business life, I thought I’d explore the topic of control in this month’s message.  I think it’s a very complicated topic.  Most of us have learned that  we really can’t control what life throws our way (although we keep trying), but does that mean we should be passive participants in our journey on this earth?  No, of course not, but knowing how to balance the acceptance of things out of our control and taking an active stance to shape our lives into the best they can be, is tricky.

SJH_Serenity-Prayer_0  One saying that comes to my mind for this discussion is the Serenity Prayer which is such a map for living in the Twelve Step Programs throughout the world:  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Whether or not you are on the religious side or working a Twelve Step program, the message is quite universal.Think for a moment about your own lives.  What has come your way that you didn’t want, but couldn’t prevent?  Was it an illness?  The loss of a loved one through a break up, or even death?  Was it the termination of a job?  Those would be examples of things that we couldn’t change.

What could we change?  On the illness side, perhaps it is making healthier decisions, following a regimen that will mean better outcomes, or learning to live differently, such as would be required with the loss of sight or a limb for example.  As loved ones go, perhaps there is something we can learn about ourselves that will enhance our future relationships, and may even help reshape the relationship with the estranged family member, friend, or partner.  If we have lost the loved one in death, how do we redefine life so that it continues to have meaning?

On the job side, what did we learn that we can take with us?  Often, when a job ends, there is something even better ahead for that person.  I’ve seen it over and over.  It’s almost like the Universe is saying, “Hey you, time for a change.  Time for a new way to express yourself.  Let me help you out.”  I know when I was in that position several times in my career, I didn’t realize until later that it was just that kick in the butt I needed to spread my wings wider and fly higher.

If we fight back on things that we have no control over, the outcome will be an energy drain and a high level of frustration and anger.  A poignant example is the wounded warrior who loses a limb.  There is nothing he can do about that.  It’s gone.  If he/she makes the choice to focus the energy into an identity of “victim”, the ultimate outcome would be a life of anger, resentment, and unhappiness.  The other choice is to make the most of the situation.  Can life still have meaning without a limb?  Can he/she still enjoy life, albeit in a different way?  Can he/she still love?   Still contribute?  Absolutely.

Fortunately, for most of us, the challenges are not as dramatic as losing a part of our body, but the questions are pretty much the same.  Whatever is thrown our way that we can’t control, can we learn from it so that life still has meaning, and maybe even more so?

Can we still love?  Can we still contribute?  I assure you the answers to each question are yes.
Read about 19 people that turned Lemons into Lemonade. 19 people that turned Lemons into Lemonade

Those individuals who are able to take the challenges in their life and make something even better (you know, the proverbial turning lemons into lemonade), are the ones that rise to the occasion, focus their energy into making the best they can out of the situation and becoming the best they can be.  Their fight is this:  “I will not be beaten down by this challenge in my life.”  They become inspirations to us all because they have the motivation to focus their energy in unbelievably productive ways.Most days you are thrown curveballs on a small or larger scale in both your personal and professional lives. I hope that when they do, you are ready to face the challenge and turn your lemons into lemonade.
 Read about 19 people that turned Lemons into Lemonade.


Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

Categorised in:

Comments are closed here.