November 06, 2005

Meeting Challenges Head On

This evening my son and I spent a few minutes discussing how to meet challenges head on. We talked about how to deal with the hard times and what to do when life gets rough. I gave him good advice. It was age appropriate, but I could see a time in the future when he and I will review it again.

There are times in which you are forced to play by rules that you do not like, when you have to accept that you are not in charge. It is not easy and it is not a lot of fun but we do what we have to do.

I told him today and I'll tell him again that the bottom line is that you have to answer to yourself. You have to look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about who you are. Sometimes your faith in yourself may be shaken and sometimes you may question yourself, that is just part of life.

The hard part is that life is not like the movies, the happy endings sometimes pass you by. Sometimes instead of being rewarded you get kicked in the teeth and slapped across the face and you feel like you have little to show for it.

Yet there is still merit in persevering. You have to keep going.

One day I'll tell him that the hardest thing for his father was waiting to take on those challenges. It is not always because I was certain that I would come out victorious but because waiting for the battle to begin always makes me crazy. The uncertainty and anticipation is always worse than the actual fight.

Over the years I have used several different methods to overcome this. Sleep, exercise and visualization are really what come to mind.
  1. Sleep- Sometimes it was easier to try and sleep a little bit longer and hope that in my dreams my mind would seek greener pastures. It is not always the best or most effective solution, but it had its moments.
  2. Exercise- There is always something cathartic in working up a good sweat. I love that release of endorphins and the feeling that I get midworkout. It never fails to make me feel better.
  3. Visualization- I always envision myself as coming out ahead, no matter what the situation is. See yourself in your mind winning the contest and learn how to think of yourself as being successful. Attitude has a lot to do with how you do.
None of these are perfect and at times they have all fallen short but part of life is learning how to adapt and overcome. Life really is what you make of it. You can let yourself be miserable or you can learn how to be happy even when things are rough.

(P.S. Don't forget to Frappr Yourself. Don't be shy, stick a pin in.)

7 comments:

Neil said...

Can we all rent you as a father?

jg said...

Your last paragraph says so much. Remembering this makes everything else easier.

"...part of life is learning how to adapt and overcome. Life really is what you make of it. You can let yourself be miserable or you can learn how to be happy even when things are rough."

I feel like I am repeating this to my daughter over and over. And over. Every now and again I have to repeat it to myself also!

Stephen (aka Q) said...

Re Frappr:
I stuck in a pin, but Bill was already there from Ottawa. For some reason, my pin doesn't show — just his. I guess he overshadows me more than I realized.

Re waiting for battle:
It's just like going to the dentist: anticipating the thing is always more stressful than the actual experience. (At least, almost always.)
Q

KRISTIN said...

'Life really is what you make of it' ??? You have never been in a real shit, have you?
My guess is you are just lucky (yet) and toooo young! :P

MC Aryeh said...

Sage advice. Those three things usually work for me, too. I wish my dad had told me the things you are telling your son when I was a kid. But then, ultimately I guess everyone has to learn things for themselves anyway....

Jack's Shack said...

Neil,

Contact my manager regarding my weekly rates.

JG,

It is something that I work on every day.

Q,

Are you suggesting that Bill go on a diet. Just kidding Bill. ;)

KIT,

Life is what you make of it. I have been through rough times and good. Some people have been through far worse than I and they still survive. This posthere is a good example.

MC,

It is not just hearing it, but putting it into practice. I am not as good at it as I want to be.

judi said...

Kit, Jack's right. In the past few years, I've been "through the fire" and I've found that it's much more bearable when you've got a big bag of marshmallows. Things really do get better, or at least you learn to adapt and make the best of whatever situation.

And lest you think this whole approach is Pollyanna-ish and a bit trite, consider the official mantra: "that which does not kill me only makes me.... still alive".