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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Will Life Crush Your Spirit or Make You Stronger?

Will Life Crush Your Spirit or Make You Stronger?

What awful soul-crushing experiences have you had in your life? Have you allowed them to become defining moments for lessons learned that propelled you forward or have you allowed them to defeat you?  

When you examine your life, what defining positive or negative moments or periods in your life have shaped your future and attitude?

How are you feeling about your life and possibilities today? 

No one gets through life unscathed. We all experience our own unpleasantness in life that challenges our belief in life and ourselves.

These crucial challenges become defining moments for us--ones that put us face-to-face with ourselves--forcing us to choose how we're going to handle life going forward.

Are we going to allow life to crush our spirit or make us stronger? Will we choose to become bitter and hardened or wise and strengthened by our experiences?

1984 Lessons Learned Revisited

Thirty two years ago I returned to Los Angeles for the first time a year after dealing with an unfair and unwarranted political battle in the workplace in which I took center stage. This trip back to the center of unpleasantness was a defining moment for me that still shapes my life today.

Recently I came across the 16 lessons learned below, deep in my work archives. I wrote them upon returning from 'the scene of the crime'. When I walked back into the thick of things--and interacted directly with people involved in the political battle--it had a healing effect on me that resulted in the removal of the mental hold the experience had on me that was still lingering.

Putting pen to paper I identified the crucial lessons I learned from an experience that had once had the potential to crush my soul--and then let it go.

Although I haven't read these lessons learned in 32 years, I can clearly see the impact of my consciously articulating the lessons on my life today.

I made a conscious choice at that time to sidestep the negative remains of the battle and chose to be propelled forward in life--strengthened, not hardened or weakened, and choosing compassion over bitterness.  

This was one of many defining life moments that led me to be strengthen by my life rather than defeated by it. And this is still my 'Meyerott Manifesto' in play today.

Don't let life defeat or crush you. Accept we all deal with potentially soul-crushing blows that we must decide how to deal with. Know you have the strength to handle what life throws your way.  

 16 Lessons Learned at 32 still Apply at 64

Time heals all. Keep your motives pure, be yourself and trust the important people will have faith in you--even after a political battle.

Be Kind. You do not need to be mean to the people who wrong you. It is a way of life for them. They will be their own undoing.

Reach out, reach out, reach out! It is by your small daily reaching out--by being consistent with people--that they will trust you and support you.

Care deeply and honestly about others.  Rejoice in their achievements and victories; cry in their pain; share life.

Trust yourself and know yourself. Plod toward your goals. Be patient.

Be choosy about people. Commit to building a warm, supportive and joyful environment based in friendship whether at work or play. Find other honest, committed caring people to relate with.

Cut your losses. Some people will never like you, trust you or be kind to you. It is within them, not you.

Empty yourself of territorial issues, control, and the need for power. Focus on how you may help others. Be unassuming.

Believe in other people. Build them up. Focus on how you can work well together.

Be involved in people's lives. Help others make better choices by asking the right questions and by really caring. 

Believe in the power of positive behavior. When people have difficulty with you, ignore their incorrect perception of you and talk to the part of them that likes you. Work through other people. Believe in the power of positive feedback, positive gossip, and consistent positive behavior.

Be true to yourself and others.

Most people want to like others. They are embarrassed when they're put in a battle between two people. If they must perform actions, such as work, that forces them closer to the other person, they will begin to change their attitude toward you unless you force them to deal with you consciously and make them consciously accountable. Let them know you see their behavior. 

Relationships based in friendship.  True friends will go beyond gossip and backbiting to discover the truth. True friends will stand up for you when they know you have integrity. True friends will have the courage to stand by you as you would for them.

Forgive your adversaries. As hard as it is, focus on forgiving your enemies. Pray for them; wish them well; do not gloat in their misfortune.

Choose to be wise rather than small and petty. Model the type of behavior you would like to see in others.

Be authentic and honest. Relate to people honestly and ask them to deal with you honestly.

Choose to allow life to make you stronger. Choose to become wise and strengthened by your experiences.

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

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