Thursday, June 28, 2007

In Every Cloud There Is A Silver Lining

How many times have we heard that phrase? It is one we most often take for granted. But in studying people who have obtained success, I've found, that this credo is heeded to in one form or another on a consistent basis. They have learned to look for the opportunity in everything. A failed business or marriage. The loss of a job. When things appear to be at their worst, instead of wallowing in their misery, most high achievers get moving.

I have read this over and over in countless personal development books and heard it many times from various speakers in different seminars but it was still flying right under the radar screen. Until...

At the end of last year, I was stricken with an illness that totally shut me down for several months. It wasn't serious, thank God, but it changed life the way I knew it. Initially, I was devastated, but after a brief moment I realized that being upset about it and playing the victim was not going to benefit me. So I got busy. I looked for the opportunity in the moment. I began reflecting on my life up until that point and what things I really needed to change. I looked at things that I needed to tie up or difficult conversations I needed to have with people and I GOT BUSY. The opportunity that existed in the moment was for me to overhaul my life. I put an end to stupid and ridiculous conversations with people, I found ways to lower my stress level and began to build them into my life on a consistent basis. I radically changed my diet to one that focuses on health and nourishment instead of comfort and pleasure. I used the time to get clarity and direction on what I wanted out of life and for my business and clients and most importantly, I used the time to finish my book which up until that point was only a quarter of the way finished and I had been working on it for over 3 years. In two months, I had finished the whole thing!

Now how's that for a silver lining in the cloud? I, personally, finally got it. I applied what I had heard over and over and it powerfully changed my life. In every crisis there is opportunity. I emerged from my crisis with greater clarity, and intent. I feel stronger and less willing to tolerate anything that isn't serving me well. I grew so much in such a short time that I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. It was literally a blessing in disguise. And yes, I was sick, and yes, it sucked but from where I stand right now, it was all worth it.

There is always something good in everything. When a situation seems bad, learn to look for the good in it. What is the opportunity? If you miss this, the situation will defeat you. You become a victim to your circumstances. Be proactive. Take charge. Look for and seize the opportunity you have been given. Always ask yourself, What is the gift that exists here? If you've lost your job, perhaps you have been given the gift of time to spend finding out what you really want to do in life. Is it time to start your own business? Is it time to find a better job that pays you what you're worth? If you experience an illness, perhaps it is a reminder that you need to slow down and focus on what really matters. Perhaps you have been working too hard and missing out on valuable time with your family. Whenever a difficult time in life appears, ask yourself, What is the opportunity God has given me in this moment? It's a simple question, but so powerful. Only you can answer it. But whatever you do, don't miss it!

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