Throughout my entire life I feel there is one lesson that I've had to learn over and over. Repeatedly. As if there is some small niche in my soul, some crevice deep in my brain that stubbornly clings to the false belief that it isn't true.
That things will work out.
And, I have a hunch this is something we all struggle with to a degree; the fear that whatever is ahead of us will be the thing that finally does us in. Here's a sampling of experiences that I've faced in my life and I'm going to go out on a limb - drunk, blindfolded and in flip flops - and be fairly certain you'll find some things that will resonate with you:
- A major project that could make or break your career...that doesn't seem to be going well
- Being single
- Going bald at a young age
- A blood clot combined with an allergic reaction to the usual treatment
- Being downsized
- Fear of sickness - both in you or a loved one
- Fear that after a loss (personal or business) that life just won't go on or be recoverable
Now, keeping the items above in your mind (or calling to mind any of the things you've faced that you thought were insurmountable), let me ask you a question: What do these situations all have in common?
They work out. Sometimes I think that is the great lesson in life: usually, hindsight being what it is, we can look at all the hardships that we've faced and draw a clear line to the present. And that line usually finds us in a better place than we were at that time. The important point: more often than not, either the fear we had proved unfounded or we grew through the experience and became stronger because of it.
Here's the lesson: usually the thing we fear will happen (or will destroy us) doesn't come to pass.
So, what do we do with this knowledge? You may be in the midst of something that makes you feel like you are stuck in the trash compactor from the original "Star Wars" - the walls are closing in, you're calling for help, and no one is answering. If you are, take a moment and breathe and remember one of the most important lessons in life: This will work out.
Whenever I face a tough challenge - at work or in my personal life - I've learned (after many decades of lessons) to step back and stay to myself: "Things usually work out - this will to." Does this mean that they immediately work out and the world becomes sunshine and rainbows? No! Of course not! And, sometimes, in the short term - there is pain, sadness, and grief. However, usually there is a solution just around the corner.
Sometimes, just knowing there is a solution - even if you haven't yet discovered it - can give you the peace of mind to persist and move forward.