What’s Your Story: Life Is A Roller Coaster!

What’s Your Story: Life Is A Roller Coaster!


Crazy Amusement Park I have a lot to be thankful for! I spent this past Memorial Day weekend with my family in our cute little townhouse in Brigantine. Love was present, the day was bright and sunny, there were sailboats anchored in the cove, and someone else even made breakfast!

A few years ago, however, my life was not so sunny. Driving to work early one morning, I fell asleep and crashed into a retaining wall. When I woke up, the paramedics where there and I was quickly driven to the trauma unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Many doctors and residents checked me over, while an ER doc stitched up some face and scalp lacerations. I was diagnosed with a broken back, torn aortic valve, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung. Within several days, pneumonia set in. All in all, I was a sick little camper. It took me over six months to recover, and I still experience some residual symptoms from the accident.

Life is a roller coaster! Shit happens! But so does joy! We all ride the same roller coaster. Though we may be on different tracks, the story remains the same for most of us. It’s not what happens to you that determines the quality of your life. It has more to do with your prevailing attitude: resilience, focus, and the ability to keep things in perspective. In my book “Navigating For Success: Passion, Goals and Action,” I talk about three ways people go through life: as a Navigator, Survivor or Victim. I also write about the crucial value of having a focused roadmap to help you navigate through the storms that life throws at you. When I talk about perspective and focus I am really asking: “what do we each bring to the stories of our lives?” Why do some people react to adverse circumstances with despair, self-pity, anger, and blame, while others seem to tackle the same situations by problem solving, getting back on track, and rebounding without prolonged trauma?

What determines the course of our life stories? Is it fate? Destiny? Luck? Hope? A curse following us through time? Or is it your life perspective? The decisions you have made about who you are and the person you are molding yourself into? As Brendon Burchard suggests, these are several key questions all of us have to confront:

What is my Dream?
What do I really want?
Where will I end up?
Will I succeed?
Will it all be worthwhile?
Will I run the race well?
Will I make a difference?
How will I be remembered?

So, my friend, what is your focus and perspective in life? Is your life story being left up to fate and destiny? Or is it a product of purposeful decisions, positive intentions, and decisive plans of action? What is the dominant force in your life: you, or your circumstances? Are you conscientiously taking on challenges, dealing with pain and loss, appreciating your gifts and blessings, and filling your life with love? Do you have a design, a plan, or life map to focus on so that your daily actions are an expression of the things that are most important to you? Do you have the personal strength to resist situational temptations that may distract you from overall success and satisfaction?

When I was lying in my hospital bed, I thought about the hand the game of life had recently dealt me and the dilemma I was facing. I chose to say “No Thanks!” to the temptation to be a victim. Instead, I reread the section in my book about creating a life roadmap and living my life as a Navigator. I stayed focused on the vision of living an extraordinary life and being resilient. I followed my map diligently and am now back to work fulltime, blessed with a pig’s aorta in place of my damaged one and am able to manage the occasional backaches. Overall, I have tremendous gratitude for being alive, having family and friends who love me, and, of course my little beach house at the shore! So, what are you grateful for? What gifts and blessings surround you? Are you able to recognize and appreciate them all? Do you have a roadmap to guide you through the impending storms?
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