Working Through the Hard Stuff

growth requires sacrificeHey guys, I want to apologize for my absence over the past few weeks. I recently got surgery on my hip.  I guess that is the price you pay from a lifetime of playing sports. Unfortunately, I have to have my other hip operated on in a month so my journey is just beginning. At least I will have plenty of time to write more blog posts!

I am a firm believer that you can learn something from every experience, whether the experience is good or bad. I have had a lot of time to reflect in the past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to integrating some of those reflections into these conversations with you all. Experiential reflections imply me saying something personal, but what I have to say will continue to speak into your professional and business lives as much as any other area.

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Who the heck ever wants to get surgery? Much less surgery on your hip, makes me feel 30 years older… But I knew that without getting this done, who knows where I’d actually be in 30 years time. Sure I have to put off nearly everything that I really love, but, again, what’s one-year compared to 30?

I love the saying “one step back, two steps forward” and we use it ALL the time in our business: many times in order to grow, you need to sacrifice before you can prosper. However, most people don’t want to sacrifice. People are very content where they are, and that can be okay. But if you want to grow in your personal or professional lives, you need to sacrifice. Often times, tending to our limitations (not just settling with them), will be the key to moving beyond them.

Seeing the Big Picture

I was given the option to live with my condition. If I had chosen to I would be in some pain but I could walk and still do most of the things I love. The only downfall to surgery would be the recovery period for a few months. As I saw it, for me this was an easy decision.

For many people, these types of decisions are hard and debilitating. For example, say you are a business owner and you are completely swamped with work. You need to hire someone but you know it will eat into your paycheck for the time being. The first year you hire someone you will see a 20% cut in your pay but in the subsequent years your pay will go up 50%. What do you do? Can you see where the conundrum comes into play?

Don’t forget to look at the big picture when making decisions. Often times the best path is the one that you have to sacrifice the most for in the short term.

Stay Positive

If I told you I have had a positive attitude throughout this process, I would be lying. I haven’t been able to go the gym or get into the woods, two things I absolutely love. However, I have done my best to see the big picture and realize this is the best move for my future.

We may get cynical about being told to stay positive, but honestly, when is the last time having a negative attitude helped you? It never has. Choosing your focus, your heart condition, is ridiculously hard with slow results – but the choice is yours to make. You have the choice as to whether you are going to be positive or negative.  Every successful person I know has a ridiculously positive outlook on everything. Every book you read about success will have positivity and thankfulness in there somewhere – this is the lesson I’m being forced to appreciate through this period of my life. I would encourage everyone to practice some sense of positivity and/or hopefulness, especially in difficult situations. Some of the best things in life come from the worst situations, and if you can learn to thrive in the dark moments then you’ll only flourish as the days get lighter.

I want to end this post with a quote from one of my favorite movies, The Dark Knight.  “The night is darkest just before the dawn”.  Whatever “night” you may be going through, always remember that the light is right around the corner.