Life can be hard. I know!

Not only has this last year been a challenge for me, but all my life I’ve had to work seemingly harder than my peers for whatever I’ve gotten.

I started working at age 13 (don’t ask) and have held down a job ever since. I’ve always been responsible for looking after others; paying bills, running a household and keeping things intact.

I was old before my time. Whereas most people burn out after working 15+ years, that meant I was already tapped out by the time I hit my mid-twenties.

It was overwhelming at times, to say the least. Sometimes I didn’t know how I would make it; wondered if all my dreams were really delusions and if I might be selling pipe dreams with my teachings. But I always remember something critical, something I’ve come to know to be true from my experiences: When you find yourself in a tough spot, going through a rough patch or just plain going through some things – get excited.

Yes, when you fall on your face, get excited. When you can’t pay your rent, get excited. When you have to choose between the groceries and electricity, get excited. When the lights are off and so is the water, get excited. When you have to “borrow” electricity from your neighbors so you can get back your deposit in order to put money down on a new apartment or you’ll be homeless again, get excited. (Don’t act like I’m the only one. Oh…I am? Well, moving right along.)

You see, those hardships are lessons and lessons are always an opportunity to grow and growth is essential to our success.

Did you catch that?

Hardship is essential to our success. And when you get in the right mindset about your hardships you position yourself for success on the fast track.

When we evaluate our hardships, we assess our choices and reflect on the path that led us to where we are. We ingest that information and keep it in the recesses of our minds. When the time comes, we pull from those assessments and determine what choices need to be made for a better outcome. It’s trial and error.

Sometimes, we get lucky and we have people whom we can watch and emulate (or make different choices than) so as to yield the kinds of results we want. But it doesn’t mean a life devoid of hardship, they just might not be as detrimental or traumatic is all.

But again, hardship is not a bad thing if you know how to look at it. If you understand that these experiences are preparing you for the next level; if you recognize that you are being tested and trained so that you don’t have to revisit any of these low points in the future, then you come a space of acceptance. You come to appreciate where you are when you’re there; you see just how temporary the circumstance and you becoming more willing to endure the hardships and the hassles because you know every fall down is another rung on the ladder leading up.

So, get your mind right, get your affairs in order, get your act together, and embrace the pain – translating it into power. Dust yourself off from the fall because your next step is up.

Changing minds changes lives. Good luck and Namaste.