I have had the opportunity of counseling people right from when I was very young and trust me when I say this; many people you see with smile on their faces weep on the inside. Never make the mistake to think that people’s public successes always compensate for their private failures. People go through stuffs you and I may not be able to endure. Broken by life circumstances, they find it very difficult to recover from the pain that comes from being broken, and Some out of the malaise and emptiness they feel on the inside have resolved to just settle for anything life throws at them. And don’t you ever doubt that no matter who you are you’ve had some losses. No matter how pretty or handsome you are you’ve had some losses. No matter how rich or famous you are you’ve had some losses. They may not be on the outside but somewhere in your life you bear the scars from the stuff you lost along the way, and the price you paid to be who you are.
Yours may be your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband leaving you. It may be the doctor giving you a bad report regarding your health. You alone know where the shoe hurts most. Whatever the case maybe, there is stage in life called the pruning stage where God will “cut” and carve you into what he wants you to be.
The pruning stage comes with much pain that it leaves you feeling uncomfortable, and not everyone survives the pain that comes from the being “cut.” Some endure while others give up. Are you at the verge of giving up? Wait! Before you do, I want you to think of a lady by name Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at nineteen months old. She overcame her severe disabilities, went on to graduate from Radcliffe College, and became an author, noted lecturer, and champion for people who are blind (people who are broken).
Think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1921, at the age of thirty-nine, he had a severe case of polio, which left him disable and in terrible pain. He never walked again without assistance. But he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his potential. Eight years later, he became the governor of New York, and in 1932, he was elected president of the United States.
Think about Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years of his life in prison. I repeat 27 years in prison, and today, he’s recognized as one of the most influential man in the world. Just a few days ago, the world joined in celebrating his birthday. Ben Carson? He was called a dull boy by his class mates. Refusing to accept the name his class mates called him, he made up his mind that he was going to become a solution provider. He became the first Neurosurgeon that gave children a second chance at life. Wait a minute! How about the popular musician by name Adele who was heartbroken by her boyfriend because she was fat? The disappointment from her broken relationship led her to receive multiple Grammy Awards for excellence in her career.
Every great person I know or have read about had series of losses that preceded their greatest victories. Just because you have had a series of losses doesn’t mean you are not on the verge of your next win. No doubt, you can think of others who have overcome tragedies or past mistakes to pursue their potential. You may even know personally some people who fought their way back from adversity to become successful. Let them inspire you. No matter what you’ve faced in the past, you have the potential to overcome it. Never allow your circumstances define you.
As I conclude this piece, I want to share with you a story of a reporter who talked to three construction workers pouring concrete at a building site. “What are you doing?” he asked the first worker. “I’m earning a paycheck,” he grumbled. The reporter asked the same question to a second laborer, who looked over his shoulder and said, ‘what does it look like I’m doing? I’m pouring concrete.” Then he noticed a third man who was smiling and whistling as he worked. “What are doing?” he asked the third worker. He stopped what he was doing and said excitedly, “I’m building a shelter for the homeless.” He wiped his hands clean on a rag and then pointed, “Look, over there is where the kitchen will be. And that over there is the women’s dormitory. This here…”
Each man was doing the same job. But only the third was motivated by a larger vision. The work he did was fulfilling a dream and it added value to his effort. He was a laborer, but he didn’t see himself as one. Instead he saw himself has a builder of shelter for the homeless. You are just the way you see yourself. Your perception and not your circumstance is what define you.
Before you give up wait! And think of those who were able to make it through what you’re going through.
Have you thought about it? Now you can make up your mind.