pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity.
The optimist sees the opportunity in every
should come as no surprise that the secret to living a rich, full, and
life lies in the second sentence of this quote.
Every time we face a difficulty we have two choices: wilt or
grow. It is that simple. We can complain about the
it, dislike it, think that it is unfair or unjust – and we might be
right. But that doesn’t matter. Whether we are
right or wrong, the difficulty
remains. We can make the difficulty a
statue in our life by focusing on it, or we can make the difficulty
growing and stepping past it.
concept applies to all difficulties – not just the “little
things.” My one and only sibling died suddenly when I
was twenty-three. He was my big brother
and a father figure to me, as my parents divorced shortly after I was
I did not keep in regular contact with my father. Part of me
wanted to “wilt.” Part of me wanted to give up, to curse what
felt unjust and unfair. We were a small
family of three and now we were a family of two and it didn’t seem
fair. Something within me, though, refused to wilt.
used that experience to create a book to help others, called I Wasn’t Ready to
Say Goodbye: Surviving,
Coping, and Healing after the
Sudden Death of a Loved One. At the
time (2000), no such book was available.
I coauthored the book with a doctor I had known, Pamela D.
Blair. Little did I know when Caleb died that the
United States would face the tragedy and shock of 9/11. This
book went on to become the best-selling
grief book on the market, and I received many letters, calls, and
those who lost friends and family in the terrorist attacks.
Since then, I have continued to receive many
letters that have touched my heart. Does
this make my brother’s death “just” or “fair?”
Of course not. But it does give
it meaning and purpose. Instead of “wilting,”
my brother and I took this experience and used it to help thousands
thousands of others.
story is an example of being a true optimist.
It isn’t that we ignore or pretend that the
bad doesn’t exist, but when
the bad comes to our door, we create something bigger that matters more. While we may lose loved
love, friends, physical abilities – there is one thing we never lose:
have you been seeing
difficulty instead of opportunity?
would it feel to remove the stone statue of “difficulty” and replace it
ground for hope to grow? What
can you do
today to begin crumbling that statue?
Affirmation: I greet each moment with