When people lament over the problems in their lives, they often say “Life’s a bitch”.
Now there are two common meanings to the word “bitch”. It used in reference to a female dog or it is used when talking about someone who, intentionally, complains, gives people a hard time, makes things difficult, etc. This implies intent and life has no intent. Life doesn’t care if you’re fat or skinny, if you live or die, it is just life.
I think that life is far from being a bitch.
I think life is, at best, benign.
Life is pretty much equal parts of the things you can control and the things you can’t.
The things you can control, control.
What you eat, what you watch, what you do, whom you associate with, etc. These are all in your control. If you fail to control them, that is your fault, not the fault of some unseen entity called “life”.
But what about the things you can’t control? While you can’t control some things that happen to you, you can control your reaction towards them. Your attitude.
Let’s be honest here, sometimes shit just happens. But even that is pretty even. Everyone gets shit on sometime during their lives. But some people just don’t let it crush them.
Stephen Hawkins is one example. Stricken with ALS, he is considered to be one of the most brilliant men on the planet. Yea, he got shit on, big time but it certainly didn’t stop him!
Triple amputee doing a Spartan race. Why is he wearing a mask? To make the race more difficult!
Do these kids look sad because they have some sort of disability? Nope, ah the innocence of children! But adult can also choose to be positive about their circumstances in the same way.
Regardless of your current situation, I can guarantee that there is someone, somewhere, that has it worse. And likely are handling with more dignity, than you are.
Or if not dignity, having more fun!
A life without problems is a life lived without challenges and challenges make you strong. Defeating obstacles in your life, gives you the skills and grit to take on bigger obstacles.
When you get knocked down by life, and you will, jump back up with a shit-eating grin on your feet and push forward.
Every morning, when you wake up, you have a choice as to how you will greet the day. Yes, you can choose to be positive or negative. A negative attitude will make the day drag on longer, will impact your performance and will, in general, make everyone around you miserable. And regardless of your attitude, the day will still have the same 24 hours, it is up to you how you enjoy those hours, or don’t.
A positive attitude will help you find the joy in your life. The work you do. The people you work with. It will help you enjoy your family and friends. It will make obstacles look smaller and easier to defeat.
Sometimes it is a matter of perspective. What is a challenge for one, is fun for another. Take this bit of military humor….
An Army grunt stands in the rain with a 35-pound pack on his back, 15 lb. weapon in hand, after having marched 12 miles, and says, “This is shit!”
An Army Airborne Ranger stands in the rain with a 45 lb. pack on his back, weapon in hand, after having jumped from an airplane and marched 18 miles, and says with a smile, “This is good shit!”
A Marine lies in the mud, 55 LB pack on his back, weapon in hand, after swimming 10 miles to shore, crawling through a swamp and marching 25 miles at night past the enemy positions, says with a grin, “This really is great shit.”
A Navy SEAL, up to his nose in the stinking, bug infested mud of a swamp with a 65 LB pack on his back and a weapon in both hands after jumping from an aircraft at high altitude, into the ocean, swimming 12 miles to the shore, killing several alligators to enter the swamp, then crawling 30 miles through the brush to assault an enemy camp, says, “I love this shit.”
The Air Force NCO sits in an easy chair in an air-conditioned office, and says, “My e-mail’s out? What kind of shit is this?”
If your goals in life are to have the latest gadget or date the prettiest girl or handsomest boy, then you will never be happy. If you obtain those goals, there will always be a newer and shiner gadget or a better looking boyfriend or girlfriend.
But if your goals are tied to self-improvement such as learning new things, getting healthier and stronger, just becoming a better person, you will be happier. Working towards these goals is more fulfilling than any shiny gadget could ever be. And at the end of your days, people will remember you for what you did, not what you owned.
Nobody reads books about people whose quest is for the latest IPhone, they read stories that inspire, about people that strive to do great things in their lives. Reading about people climbing to Mount Everest is much more interesting than reading about somebody going into debt to buy a new car.
Be defined by what you do, not by what you wear or how big your house is or what name is on your clothes.
And whatever you do, have fun! Here is a personal story that turned out pretty cool but it could have been pretty miserable. The only difference was our attitude towards the circumstances.
I was working for a company that send me to Sakhalin Island Russia for a short job. I was with two men from the UK and we were put on a POS Russian boat to gather borehole samples. It was about as bad of living conditions as you can imagine. Roaches in the galley and saltwater contaminated potable water supply.
We had two choices. We could moan and groan about our conditions or we could look at it as an adventure and have fun. And we had fun. Made up songs about what we were going, joked, etc. we had fun under lousy conditions. The conditions didn’t change, but our attitudes did. I still have fond memories of that job.
If you haven’t seen Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”, this reference may be lost on you.
“Carpe Diem” or “Seize the day”. Unless you are in a coma, if which you won’t be reading this post anyway, you have a wonderful variety choices to make. Choose the positive ones, choose the paths of energy and happiness.
Rip the negative from your life, destroy it. Hit the floor so full of self-confidence that even the devil himself will get out of your way.
Here are some steps you can take from David Rutherford at Team Froglogic:
- Have a positive attitude
- Exercise and live healthy
- Motivate yourself and others
- Earn respect
- Set goals
- Live with integrity
- Mentor others
- HAVE FUN!
Now I will admit that for some people, doing these things may seem fake at first. It may seem as if you are acting but guess what? Do it long enough and one day you will realize that you are no longer acting. That you actually do have the self-confidence that shows in your body language. You actually are healthier. Your positive attitude is real, no longer a front. And that yes, you really are having fun!
Choose. Live in the past or life for the future.
The choice is yours and yours alone.