Rain can be a good thing or a bad thing. In a drought, rain is good. In a flood, rain is bad. In the Bible it says that rain falls on the just and the unjust. I have always taken that to mean that good things and bad things happen to everyone.
I have had plenty of rain in my life. I’ve been asked many times, “how do you know so much about so many things”. The answer is pain. Pain and failure teaches us far more than happiness and success ever will. Show me a person with great wisdom and I’ll show you a person that has suffered greatly.
I have learned three things that help me when a time of suffering and pain is upon me. Here is my list.
- Don’t do anything to make it worse. It is pretty common and normal when things go bad that we do things to make them worse. For examplee getting into an argument with your significant other and then compounding the issue by saying mean and hurtful you’ll regret later. Once it is out of your mouth, she may forgive you but she will likely never forget it. My advice? Don’t do it! Keep it to yourself, don’t vent your anger. The same is true at work. You might be mad at what happened with your boss or a co-worker. Take a moment, compose yourself and get on with your day. Don’t do anything to make it worse.
- Stay busy. Most things will just work themselves out if you give it a little time. Go see a friend. Do a project you’ve been putting off. Clean your house. Give yourself a little satisfaction for something accomplished. Try it. It works.
- Do something every day that makes you feel good about yourself. When the tough times come, and they will come, we often start to feel bad about ourselves. That has a snow-balling effect that can affect our decision making ability and make things worse. Go get a massage, workout, read, go for a walk, plant something, anything that you enjoy that makes you feel good. This is probably my favorite of the three.
Eric Jackson is a world champion whitewater kayaker, the CEO of a successful Jackson Kayak and a professional fisherman. He is the Michael Jordan of kayaking. I had the pleasure of paddling with him on the Ottawa River about fifteen years ago. He has a saying that I think of often:
Things are rarely as good OR as bad as they seem.
Time has a way of softening the blow, to allow us to see in hindsight that often the things we thought was so terrible can turn out to be blessings in disguise.
They say there are only two things in life you can count on, death and taxes. I’d like to add to that list change and challenges. What you do when the crap hits the fan is more important than the crap itself.
The next time it rains on you, (and it will rain) give these three things a try and let me know what works for you. And consider Eric Jackson.