Ah…the good life. Who hasn’t sat down and imagined “what if”? We dream of bountiful blessings, both material and immaterial. We imagine a life where we are, in the infamous words of Charlie Sheen, “winning”.
No definition of success is all inclusive of what the mind can imagine, in fact, the true essence of success varies from person to person. A well-lived life can mean different things for each of us. For some, happy children, a fulfilling career, quality friendships, a stable marriage, and good health make up success. For others, maintaining financial stability, traveling the world, possessing a fruitful ministry, or being appreciated for our unique gifts define success—the options are endless. One thing is for sure, there is something in everyone’s minds eye that defines success and therefore “the good life”.
We are all here on earth to pursue our very best life. If we are fortunate, we will achieve some portion of our dreams, but in realizing those dreams, we make ourselves vulnerable to the variety of challenges that accompany such a great feat. All too often, we focus on the benevolent part of our individual evolution. Instead of embracing the total experience of our triumphs, we develop tunnel vision, seeing only the good; when in fact, the pursuit of a dream can lead us to a place of extreme loss, disappointment, failure, and rejection.
We begin to wonder, if we have violated our station in life. Do we deserve the fruits of our labor? Can we truly have it all? Or we become complacent, forgetting the importance of continuously moving forward toward greatness. Worst yet, we believe in our own hype and stop trying. When these things happen, our perceived happiness faces the very real danger of being whisked away as swiftly as the wind blows.
As imperfect beings, even as we put forth our best efforts to achieve great things, we falter. No person is immune to the stumbling blocks along the road to a better life, the good life. It is important to prepare for life’s storms in order to realize a greater level of inner peace and fulfillment, especially when we do not obtain every goal in the way in which we had imagined.
Make resilience the root of your success! Resilience offers the best shelter for weathering the unpredictability of whatever new season is upon us. When it rains it pours, so when the slings and arrows of life begin to rain down on you, put up an umbrella to keep yourself from getting wet. When a gust of wind knocks you down, grab hold of the tree that has sprung forth from the fruits of your efforts, and pull yourself back up.
Even when it means slowing down or following a new course, you must keep moving. No one ever got far by standing still. If your pace is too quick, slow it down. Life is not a race. If one road leads you toward a dead end, try another. The great thing about setting goals is that they can be revised as many times as necessary to match your vision, whatever that may be.
Be mindful of the pitfalls
There are many obstacles that come along with success; be prepared to maneuver through them. Learn to roll with the punches as they come. When necessary, re-write the route to your success, keeping in mind that life is not simply about a particular destination, but the journey instead.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004 or visit our website for more information.
This week’s entry is the collaborative work of Melissa Brooks-Cuffee and Samara Stone of The Stone Foundation. Stay inspired to live “The Good Life” by liking us Facebook and following us on Twitter.