My employees make fun of me a bit, because I always say that “everything is an opportunity if you make it one.” Even things that appear bad at first can be treated like opportunities. Seeing the positive in every situation also helps bring quicker and sustained happiness, because it means that no wrong can happen. Instead of spending time self-wallowing, or making excuses for everything that is imperfect, you find a way forward.
My best example of opportunity, for me, is right now. Crazy as it sounds, I have been given an opportunity by acquiring this Cancer. I am CREATING a great opportunity by having Cancer. Rather than crying and complaining about what just is, I have redirected that energy into doing things that have meaning and purpose.
Cancer has enabled me to slow down and think more. I now enjoy writing. I never took the time to write, mainly because I was too busy and hadn’t found purpose in it yet. Cancer has given me the opportunity to connect with so many people, including friends, family, and people I don’t know. Cancer has given me more of a voice and time for reflection. I have been given the opportunity to really appreciate every breath that I take.
I woke up just now (4:00 am), excited to be alive. I am actually excited to be awake at 4:00 am to write this blog. I’m excited because I made it through yesterday, having two blood transfusions, a lumbar puncture, chemo injected in my spine, an IV drip for 4 hours, steroids in the late afternoon, another one-hour session of chemo, and then another fifteen minute session of chemo. I’m still here. I’m still breathing.
Before Cancer, I will admit that I didn’t wake up every morning and say golly gee, thank God I woke up today and am alive. I appreciated life, of course, but I now have a more intense appreciation of every second. I know that this appreciation will stay with me forever and I owe my Cancer for opening my eyes a bit more.
If you know me, you know I have a “can do” mentality. That hasn’t changed. To move forward, I feel that you can’t look at what opportunities you don’t have, but what opportunities you do. There are always way more options than you would think. “can do” sounds cheesy, but it works. Believing in the decisions that you make brings more confidence. Because literally every decision that you make, good or bad, will lead you to a better place if you let it. If you turn it into an opportunity.
So my Challenge Number Three of this blog has arrived. Next time you feel something has been taken away from you, next time you feel a bit defeated, change your mental gear. Don’t allow self pity, don’t allow the “why me” to click in. To put it bluntly, bitching about a bad situation won’t lead to opportunity.
Instead, take 10 minutes, get a piece of paper and a pen, and write a list of possible opportunities you can make from your new scenario. I can promise there are always more ways forward than you think, if you create them.