“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns

And many a failure comes about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out—

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell just how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

– By John Greenleaf Whittier

From an end to a new beginning

Sometimes you come across really great life changing books. Some of mine have been “The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho” , “The Wait – by DeVon Franklin” and “Battlefield of the Mind – By Joyce Meyer.” I’ve read some books that have helped me grow but these three that I mentioned definitely made an impact on my life.

Adding to that list is a recent book I’ve been reading called “Option B Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy – by Sheryl  Sandberg and Adam Grant”

I read a great article a while back that inspired me to purchase the book. The article was titled “How I got through the worst days of my life (so far) by Shane Snow.

Here’s the article:

And I wrote a blog post about that article and how it inspired me here:

This is definitely a book I’d love to read a few times through. At the moment I am finishing up Chapter 5 (halfway through the book) and I came across a great quote:

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” – Roman philosopher Seneca

How true is that. I mean , I guess growing up I always had a really hard time with things ending. Friendships, jobs, relationships, passions, you name it. It always felt so absolute and tragic. After reading this chapter, I learned that it’s all about perspective and the end of something isn’t necessarily bad because it just means it’s the beginning of something else. We can choose to let our experiences sink us to the bottom of the lake or we can let our experiences become stepping stones to help us get to the other side.

Bear with me through this tough hump here but in this chapter the writer talks about post-traumatic growth, which in a nutshell is how people who are faced with a traumatic event can bounce forward. Psychologist found that some people respond to trauma by developing PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and face debilitating depression and anxiety, others would respond by being resilient and would bounce back to their state before trauma and even others would bounce forward.

Now what does bounce forward mean? Well the writer goes to explain that post-traumatic growth are people who grow from tragedy.

This seems to happen in 5 different ways per Joe Kaspers findings:

-Finding personal strength

-Gaining Appreciation

-Forming Deeper relationships

-Discovering More meaning in life

-Seeing new possibilities

Now I know a lot of you may think how in the world can I find any good from my loved one dying, being murdered, raped, insert traumatic experience here, and I would just ask that you please read Chapter 5 of Option B because it really goes into a beautiful explanation of each one and how if we’re ready, we can get through our trauma to see the other side.

Hence “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” 

;  (The Semicolon project has that same vibe)

It doesn’t have to end at the trauma or tragedy in your life. Instead of the book ending, that “end” can be a catalyst to a new beginning.

Let’s not end the book but start a new chapter instead… 




Life Lessons

I’m on my way back home from a little vacation that became one of the most humbling experiences for me. I learned a valuable lesson. Not to judge a book by its cover.

We hear this saying all the time. It’s the moral in children’s short stories and quite the lesson to be learned. I’m at a point in my life where I feel I’ve had many experiences resulting in feeling pretty confident with the decisions I make and my reasonings behind them. I can tell you what I like and don’t. What I want and don’t and so on and so forth. I’m pretty open minded but I’ll admit at times I’m a little too confident with myself and my beliefs which in turn makes me blind. Blind to things that may be right in front of me.

I think as we become more experienced in life , we tend to tell ourselves we know everything until something happens to make us realize that we honestly know nothing.

And that was what happened this past week. I thought I had everything figured out. I had an idea in my head and was sticking to it and quickly came to realize not only was I completely off with my judgement and beliefs, but for many years I had allowed myself to be blinded by my pride in feeling that I had everything and everyone figured out.

It’s quite sad really. Thinking that there may be so many opportunities right in front of our very eyes and the only ones keeping us from them is no one other than ourselves.

Sometimes we have this destination set in our thoughts. The perfect picture painted of what life should be and is going to be. The biggest problem with that is that when your senses are focused on the things you think you know you want , you fail to see the other options. In turn possibly losing out.

When we focus on how life should be and needs to be, that’s all we tend to see.

I read this very same idea in a book but had the nerve to tell myself, “I would never do that” I’m extremely open minded yet here I was realizing that I did that very same thing I told myself I wouldn’t do. I had become so focused in the direction my life needed to go and  what I was going to allow.  I created such an in depth check list of my life, my bucket list, my expectations , goals , possible future prospects, that if things and people I was exposed to didn’t fit the criteria, I immediately pushed it aside.
And throughout my vacation the whole ideal of having everything figured out and never being wrong kinda fell apart. I realized that life is full of surprises. I realized that for some time I had put myself above some people. Making myself think I was better because I did A B C and they didn’t.
And yet here I was coming to a point where I had no other excuses available. I was faced with a decision. Do I allow myself to go in the direction I had preplanned, or was I going to try something out of my element and comfort zone and see where I went?
When I finally made that decision, I saw the true beauty of living in the moment and letting things naturally happen without forcing them one way or another. It was by far a very uncomfortable and nerve racking decision to make but one I needed to make and I’m glad that I did. It was a nice relief that for a moment in my life, I was not focused on exerting all of my efforts and energy in pushing things in the direction I wanted them to go.

So please, don’t hold onto the past. Don’t hold onto all the things that have tainted and screwed your perceptions of life and of people. Put aside everything you think you know and everything you think you want out of life and allow yourself to take it all in. Allow things to happen. You may be surprised at what you find at the end.