Ideas to Overcome Setbacks!

This speech was presented at Vision’s annual Holiday Party, December 21, 2004. There is a part in the speech that can make us all happier and healthier: read on, you’ll see what we mean!

Before I conclude my speech, I’d like to share with you some advice on being the happiest person you can be! Most of you know I recently broke my ankle, and was in a cast hobbling around the office on crutches for the past month. The break in my ankle was quite painful. It ended my Tuna fishing season, and curtailed most of my day-to-day activities.

I still have another month of physical therapy to help it heal properly. But I refused to let my broken ankle rob me of my positive mental attitude and happiness! A number of people commented on how I could maintain such a positive attitude under the conditions I was in. The advice I gave was not only applicable to dealing with a broken ankle but dealing with any set back in life!

I believe the gift of life is the most precious gift a person has. Unfortunately we only have one life to live, there are no do overs, no second chances, and each day will never come again. I once gave a speech at one of our Christmas parties several years ago on “The Prime Directive” which I believe should be a person’s main goal in life. The Prime Directive is simply making sure you are happy and enjoying life. The pursuit of joy and happiness is what life is all about: Whatever brings you joy and happiness is what one should pursue, as long as it doesn’t hurt another human being. Anything that stands in the way of the Prime Directive should be avoided with maximum intensity.

Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you perceive and react to it. Whatever happens to you has already happened. You can’t change what has happened. You have a choice of bitching, complaining, feeling miserable, feeling sorry for yourself; or moving on, learning from, and making the best of the situation. Choose to learn from and make the best of every situation. After all, what good can bitching, complaining or feeling miserable accomplish: now think about this; other than making you feel even worse? It’s a scientific fact that anxiety, stress and negativity lead to a reduction of anti-bodies in your body’s immune system, which combat infection and disease. The reduction in these anti-bodies leads to feeling run down and sick. The saying, “you’ll get yourself sick with worry” is not just a saying: It’s a fact!

The next time you experience a setback, whether it’s a broken ankle, or any unpleasant occurrence, don’t let anything get you down: It already happened and can’t be changed: move on and make the best of the situation. Take the attitude: This too shall pass. Things will get better, and focus on the things you have to be thankful for, not the negative things that have already happened and can’t be changed! And if you think you have nothing to be thankful for, go to a hospital and look at the people clinging to life in a critical care unit.