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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life's Curveballs

My brother recently told me about how he became a catcher in the little league many years ago. It all started when his coach needed someone to catch batting practice for him. The coach asked several players to catch for him, but none were willing. He noticed my brother sitting by himself on the bench and the coach asked him if he’d like to try. The coach threw my brother a curveball and my brother caught it. He had no idea what the big deal was as the coach exclaimed, “No one catches my curveballs! I just threw him my curveball and he caught it!”

As he became an adult, this moment in his life led him to some interesting realizations. Life throws us curve balls ALL the time. We can either let them fly by and miss the lesson or we can choose to recognize what’s coming our way, catch it, and achieve that which no one seemed ever to have thought we could!

Hearing his revelation reminded me of Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace, an American skeleton racer. She was favored to win the gold medal in the Torino Olympics in 2006 when a tragic accident, at team trials in Calgary shattered that dream when she was hit by a runaway bobsled. Noelle suffered a compound fracture to her right leg and was told by the doctors that her Olympic career was over.

Noelle had other plans. She feverishly began rehab and returned to competition two months later. Noelle went on to win World Championships, by the largest margin in history, while breaking the track record in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and again becoming the first American woman to obtain the title of World Champion in the sport of skeleton.

During the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Noelle missed the podium by a tenth of a second, but didn’t let that ruin the moment. Her response, “This has been the best race of my life, I gave it all I had.”

Both Noelle and my brother realized that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does. It matters what you do. It matters how you react to life’s curveballs. How will you to choose to respond to the curveballs that come your way? When faced with challenges, both personal and in your business, will you remain seated or will you stand up?

You are the Author of Your Own Life Story

How many times have you stopped to think about the role that you play in your own life? My guess is that you have not thought about this very often. I have exciting news for you – you are the author of your own life story! Take a moment to ponder your answers to the following questions. Are you filling the pages of your book with the best possible story you can think of, or can you make it even better? Are you letting someone else write the pages for you? More importantly, as you look back through the chapters, what themes do you start to see? Do you find that you consistently run into bouts of bad luck, or are there lots of times that something good is coming from everything that’s taking place? If you want to write the future chapters of your life story differently than you did the previous, you must first figure out where to focus.

Have you ever met someone who just seems to have all the luck? They have the happiest marriage, their children are well behaved, their jobs actually make them happy, and opportunities seem to fall into their laps. That’s not to say that bad things don’t happen to them, but when they face a challenge they find a way to turn it into a positive. On the other hand, how about those people that you’ve met that something bad always seems to be going on? Those people have rocky relationships, their children may get into quite a bit of trouble or they disrespect them, and everywhere they turn a door is slammed in their face. When something good finally happens to these people, they say things like, “This won’t last.” And then, it usually doesn’t. Why? Even though good things happen to them, they continue to focus on the negative.

I am sure you know of someone who faced an emotional trauma in his or her childhood, and as an adult begin to attract the same types of people and situations into their lives over and over again. We must all acknowledge that our problems are coming from within, and not necessarily from the “outside world.”

So, how can you make sure that you are the person who attracts the things into your life that you actually want? Take control! It starts with your attitude, as well as recognizing that the way you’ve always done something doesn’t always provide the results you are looking for. Become the type of “being” that you want to attract. Recognize the negative conditioning that took place in your past and put more positive in. Seek a mentor or coach to guide you through the steps of reaching your goals and finding your life’s purpose.

Write a life story for yourself that is worth reading. Inspire yourself, and you’ll inspire the world!

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”
- Dr. Wayne Dyer