Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. I have been watching and listening to motivational messages on You Tube. As I listen to these motivational messages I found myself revisiting two questions, What are Your Dreams and How do You want to Achieve those Dreams? As I thought about these 2 questions, I thought about a 2 part article that I wrote in November of 2008 Do Not Give up On Your Dreams or Your Destiny Part 1 of 2. In my reflection, I realized that — over the course of my life time — many of these dreams did not manifest in the ways that I had envisioned for my life, at the time. In my reflection, I recalled a concept that I have spoken about in Part 2 of, Don’t Give up On your Dreams or Your Destiny.
The concept of the switch and railroad tracks.
Before I discovered the concept of the switch and the railroad, as it pertains to living with adversity, I could not make sense of what transpired in my life for many years. I envisioned the events that led to my disappointment and discouragement as merely a gauntlet of circumstances that I had failed to succeed at in life. Circumstances that tossed me about like a wet rag. Circumstances that made little sense, rhyme or reason. Circumstances and events that left me feeling like a failure, despite my efforts. To gain further insight into my process and journey up until the writing of my detailed about page — in preparation for a keynote presentation that I gave in October 2013 — you may click on this link: Detailed About Page. What I discovered though my process and what I share, is that all these events were merely switches.
Switches on the railroad of my life, that were serendipitously put into position to prepare, lead, guide and give me the tools to be able to pursue and achieve my dream(s). Dreams that were yet to be realized. Dreams that are becoming reality. Dreams that I never thought possible.
As individuals living with a traumatic brain injury, an acquired disability or any other type of adversity, we are acquainted with disappointment and discouragement. Through my experience, I have come to realize that adversity, disappointment and discouragement is merely a switch on the railroad of life that diverts the individual down a different track. A track that may have otherwise not been traveled. What some might see as fate or bad luck, I have come to “see” as switches and junctures. Junctures that lead me down new tracks of opportunity. Without the adversity (switches on the railroad of life) I may get lost in the wilderness of my will. Through “seeing” these switches as opportunities, I am given the capacity to learn how to use my gifts, talents and abilities, in ways that work for me as I travel on the new track.
Since the time of the writing of my Detailed About Page, I have continued to encounter adversity, disappointment and discouragement. What I am reminded about, by the illustration of the switches and railroad tracks; is that they (adversity, disappointment and discouragement) are my teachers, guides and friends. They continue to teach me, what I otherwise would be unable to learn. They point me down another stretch of track on the railroad of my life. Without these switches — adversity, disappointment and discouragement — I may never have learned more about myself. I may never have stopped being a reactor to what happens in my life. I may never have been able to take advantage of the opportunities, that become available to me. I may have never have been able to accomplish, what I thought was out of my reach.
In the event that you are facing adversity, disappointment and discouragement in your life, for what ever reason; I would encourage you to see your adversity, disappointment and discouragement in a new way. In a way that will both empower your life and give you hope to follow your dreams.
See the adversity, disappointment and discouragement, that you face as you live your life; as teachers, guides and your friends. Learn from them, and let them teach you about yourself. Let them help you to be an actor in your life, instead of being a reactor to what happens in your life.
Let them be your teachers, guides and friends; as you move down the railroad of your life. Let your adversity, disappointment and discouragement prepare you to take advantage of opportunities. Let them show you what you can accomplish. Let them help you to achieve what you once thought was out of your reach.
Let them help you to achieve your dreams.
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