Appreciate the good things

Life goes in cycles. So does work and your career. There are good times and there are, , , well, let’s just say “challenging” times. We all experience it, and it occurs both professionally and personally.

My thoughts about all of this are that, “If things are good, enjoy and appreciate the good times because sooner or later something is going to disrupt it.”

Likewise, if things are going badly for you, hang in there because eventually your situation is going to improve.

How you look at a situation can make a big difference.

I could give you many examples of this, but I’ll share a current situation.

My family was recently in the hospital and a skilled nursing/rehab facility for just over 2 months (from February 10th thru April 12th).

Our son, Eddie, had a fall and broke his left elbow badly. The surgery to insert a plate and screws went very well, but he had major complications with a drug reaction to the antibiotics.

He got a severe case of what is called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It’s really bad and can even be life threatening. Eddie had a very bad case of it. Look it up and you’ll see just how dangerous this situation is.

Should have been a 2 or 3-day stay after his surgery that turned into a 2-month ordeal. The worst part was that Eddie was in excruciating pain due to the rash and blisters that covered him from head to toe, , , it was like serious burns both inside and outside his body.

All of this is complicated by the fact that Eddie suffered a massive brain injury in 1993 from a car accident. His short term memory is very bad so when he has an issue, Dorine or I are always with him. Some might call this being “over protective”, but our reasoning is to insure those who are caring for Eddie always have accurate information, something he is not always able to give them.

We were finally able to return home just over a week ago and Eddie is improving daily so the most difficult times are behind us. Home Care nursing and physical therapy have begun to help him along. Eddie still has challenges but good times are ahead of us.

The reason I share this story is to emphasize the need to always look at your situation as a “glass that is half full”, , , not “half empty”.

This is hard to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal challenge or maybe a professional challenge you’re facing.

Staying positive is hard at times, but it’s important for you and those around you for you to be as positive as you can.

One of the things Dorine and I believe very strongly is that Eddie’s recovery from the auto accident 26 years ago was helped because we kept looking at “what can be” versus giving up when the doctors and nurses kept telling us he will never be able to do anything based upon the severity of his head injury. You only need to meet Eddie once to see he has far surpassed all of the expert’s forecasts.

My point – positive reinforcement does make a difference.

You also don’t have to look far to see a situation that is far worse than your set of circumstances. Believe me, our family knows this well.

So here is the thing that I try to reinforce with myself often and want to emphasize with you.

Learn to appreciate the good things! 

If things are going well in your life and professionally, , , appreciate the fact that they are. Setbacks hit us all at one time or another so enjoy your successes and happiness that you are experiencing right now.

If you happen to be in the midst of a setback, , , try to stay positive. It will eventually turn around and get better. Plus, who knows, , , the positive energy you create might just help turn your misfortune around.

I believe challenges and setbacks build character. You can’t truly enjoy and appreciate the good times if you haven’t experienced a few bad times.

We don’t have “highs” without having some “lows”. The setbacks you encounter may actually change your life for the better. I have seen this with my own career (a story for another time) and with others.

So, keep your head up, think positively, and do good things that make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I think you will find that it repays you many times over.

3 responses to “Appreciate the good things

  1. Great post. I am a firm believer myself in the “up / down” cyclical view of life and of always willing the glass to be half-full rather than half-empty. Mike, it seem like you had a challenging time and came out stronger as a family and individuals because of it! Great to know. I hope that the high that awaits all of you will indeed be super high!

    • Thank you Mark. I hope your move to Germany has been successful and you are getting settled in comfortably, , , quite a difference from South Africa I’m sure. Best of success to you and your team in 2019.

      • Mark Geschke

        Thanks Mike. Quite a difference, but I love it. The change has opened quite a few new opportunities for us. As a result of this we will adapt our approach and work with change agents (instead of just IT leaders) and also focus a lot more on Kanban as a tool to help businesses become more agile.

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