Several days ago while I was out for a walk I was thinking about a young man I knew who had recently taken his own life and I asked myself how is this possible to feel so alone and that you have no where to turn and how life can be so hard and difficult at times. I thought about my journey to recovery and tried to place the pieces of the puzzle together to see why I was able to make it out of this black hole with a level head still on my shoulders, well some would beg to differ on that one, but in all seriousness though, why was I able to make it through and still have the opportunity to wake up every morning and send my kids off to school and be lucky enough to live another day?
I have written a lot about youth, sports, mental health and addictions in the past few years and while out for that walk the other evening and thinking about my friend I had just lost I said to myself that there has to be some common attributes that if you are able to implement or use, not master, but understand them and their importance then life could become so much easier for so many people. In order to do this while on my walk I had to think back about some of my past experiences, both good and bad and try to figure out what common one's have or should have been present and then use those missing attributes and apply them to other situations I have experienced and will experience.
The easiest way to do this was to start with something as close to the present time as possible that has had a negative effect on my life and try to figure out how I was able to deal with that situation or issue, so the choice was a lot simpler than I had thought it would be after looking into it a lot closer. It is something that I will have to face and deal with everyday for the rest of my life and have only began speaking about it the past couple years and that is my battle with Alcoholism and the mental health issues which come hand in hand with that. I have learnt through a recent program that in order to have a fighting chance with this that you need to live and think a certain way and once you are able to do that then you will have found peace of mind and your ability to stand up and fight will be 100% stronger in every aspect of your life.
From a very young age we are faced with obstacles, many surmountable and others not but at the end of the day after coming up with this list through my recovery I've realized that these key points are ones I've used time and time again without being fully aware I was applying them. They have been present through several decades and no matter what my age or yours or your child's I believe these tools can help you overcome anything and by anything I mean all the different stages that we experience in our lives and god only knows that there are many. Some definitely experience some harder times than others but at the end of the day almost every single one of us experience moving away to attend university, going to another school or going from elementary to high school, trying out for a sports or drama team, going to interviews, being successful in getting the job, choosing a career path, losing a loved one, chasing dreams, trying to deal with death or divorce, the list of difficult and rewarding experiences we all go through in our short time here on this earth are endless.
Here I've compiled my key attributes and I'm sure you all have your own but these tools/attributes can help you reach not only your goals but to overcome the hard times you'll go through as well.
1. ATTITUDE……Find something positive in every situation you are faced with. Learn to accept criticism and don't let t bring you down.
2. APPLY K.I.S.S.......Keep it simple stupid, life is meant to fun and enjoyable, but to many times we tend to complicate matters and search for ways to be more successful, make more money, find the perfect love and life…it doesn't need to be that way……..
3. DESIRE, if you're not doing something for right reasons, don't do it at all. There's many people who would love to have one opportunity that you have been given in your life. Be GRATEFUL for having that chance and do it at 150% or don't do it at all!!!
4. ADAPTABILITY...... Life is going to throw you curve balls, be prepared for that b/c there are not many who have lived a full life and haven't faced challenges or thought to themselves, well the isn't how I thought my life was going to turn out. Accept the fact that life isn't always fair but it's that way for a reason, to make you stronger and learn something new. Take it for what it is and enjoy that the fact that you're still being challenged. IE) Divorce/Learn new language.
5. WILL.....Willingness to accept things both good and bad. Willing to accept there will be defeats and obstacles and how you react to them will make all the difference and determine how fruitful a life you will live.
6. You are not GOD! You don't have to know everything or find out why something has happened in your life, accept things for what they are and continue to live.
7. SELFISH....Not SELFISH in a negative way but in a positive constructive manner. Do what's right for you, there will be many compromising situations you will face in your life and you need to do what's right for you, not what's right for anyone else because at the end of the day you have to be able to be happy with your choices and if you make the wrong ones it can eat you up in a heart beat.
8. POSITIVE....You need to be able to take something positive out of every experience. If your relationship ends, you need to be able to analyze it and see both the good and the bad. You need to see where you have gone wrong and how you can grow from that experience and make the next stage of your life more successful.
9. RESENTMENTS....... Get rid of them all, they are root of all evil and by that I mean the kind that cause character deficiencies to slowly evolve. They can bring on such negative character traits as jealousy, Ill feelings and cause many things to slowly evolve over time which can cause you to become someone that you really aren't.
10. EXERCISE, EXERCISE & EXERCISE...You don't need to kill yourself exercising but you should do something everyday of your life. It is a magical tool which we have all been given, use it more often and you will be amazed about what a difference in can make in almost every aspect of your life.