Making Lemonade From Lemons

Things are weird right now.  Really weird!


Uncertainty is not just a personal feeling at the moment, it is shared by people across the globe.  In these difficult times, It would be easy to give in to negative thoughts, fear of the unknown, anxiety about our finances, health, or job security.

But what if we see this time as an opportunity?  As the self-help author Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Your mind will live wherever your thoughts are. Therefore, if you focus on the problem, you can only see the problem. Some individuals, however, have managed to put their minds and focus to work so that they are not just surviving this challenging moment, but learning from it and growing.

Brandon is 42 years old. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have three beautiful daughters. As a criminal defense lawyer, his time is often spent in court, preparing cases, preparing clients and witness for court or depositions. He has often felt that his career has taken more time from him that he ever imagined it would, and as a consequence, he has missed being present as his daughters grow up. Family and excuses have always held him back from committing to making the time. Now, as the last two weeks have shown him what he has been missing, he is ready to make the time, whatever it takes. We changed his schedule and created a timeline that he could sustain once he gets back to his daily grind.

He gets up at 5:30am and works out. At 6:00 he takes a shower and at 6:15 he makes breakfast. When the girls get back to school, they will be up and getting ready with his wife while he works out. But for now, the smell of breakfast gets them out of bed around 7:00 AM and they start their activities for the day. The family made a unanimous decision to engage in group activities at least three times a week: Movie Madness Monday, Tacos Together Tuesday, Wednesday Game Day, Documentary Thursdays, Family Walk Fridays, Explore Outside Saturdays and Story Time Sundays. This allows Brandon to schedule family time in as if it were a meeting and make no excuses for not being present.

Hanna is 63, she is close to retirement and this has forced her to look at her life and the direction she would like it to go in after retirement. She started a family at 19 and her son and daughter are both out of the house with their own families and lives. As the announcement came in that we would remain quarantined for at least another 30 days she began to worry about her future. She wondered whether her company would lay her off or make her retire ahead of time. She has not thought about what she would want to do after retirement, her job is all she has known. As we spoke about her fears and worries, I asked her if there had been anything she had ever wanted to do that she’d never had time for. She thought about it and remembered that she used to write down ideas for books she wanted to write.  She found the notebook and skimmed it for the three ideas that would help others the most and we brainstormed ways to work toward the goal of getting her work published.

When you look at this time as a gift instead of a curse, you will find opportunities. Take some time to reflect and look inward. What amazing gifts do you have inside of you that you “have not had the time” to let out? How many great ideas and innovative solutions have sparked up in your mind that you have put aside as “impossible.” Take this time and make anything you desire possible by organizing yourself and making a commitment to reset and restart when you get back to “normal” life. This can be time you use to change your life!

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