I know, at times, life can be difficult and things don’t always go the way you had hoped or planned. That’s just a fact of our existence. Whether things go great or terribly for you is irrelevant, because both will occur throughout your life; that’s something you can count on. The good and the bad always work their way into sharing time with you. The fact that both will be present at different times in your life is precisely the reason why it is so important to not put emphasis on the events or situations themselves, but rather focus on how you handle both the positive and negative. Quite frankly, your behavior in those times will be what defines you.
We have all seen the news and press conferences where athletes and celebrities do not field the questions as easily as they would a ball or a set-up line in a script. How many times have you cringed when the person at the podium says the absolute wrong thing and you think to yourself, “Why did they take that direction, when it is perfectly clear the way the answer should have been delivered?” The funny thing is, the press conferences and the interviews are the easy part; the doing and keeping of obligations is the hard part.
Make no mistake about it, I am not suggesting that doing the right thing and taking the high road is easy. At times it is quite difficult. It reminds me of Michael Douglas’ character in the movie The American President, when he talks about the responsibility of freedom and how, “If we truly believe in the concept, we have to believe folks have the right to burn the very symbol of it.” He also mentions, “Freedom of speech means that even when someone makes statements that make your blood boil, you accept they have the right to make those statements.” These are not exact quotes from the movie, but you get the drift.
Your behavior in times of conflict and celebration is a depiction of your character. How you address those moments is how you will be judged, and I do not mean by others – I am referring to how you judge yourself. You can hide from others, but you cannot dodge the glares and stares of your conscience. Most likely, you will inflict more pain on yourself than you’d receive from the jeers of others, unless, of course, you are among the small percentage of folks who have no conscience or soul. I’m not trying to get all deep on you here; in fact, I would like to simplify the cause and effect of how you handle situations. I tell you this not because I am without flaw and have done all the right things; I’m human, that is not possible. I tell you because I hope you will learn from my mistakes and miscues.
The key to minimizing your slices and hooks on the fairway of life is quite simple: practice. It’s paying attention to the sides of a situation and knowing how you will tackle what comes your way prior to it actually happening. If you go into every situation knowing how you will address it, regardless of good or bad, then you will put yourself in a better position for positive results. Anticipation of the events ahead will minimize the fall out and provide more opportunity for upside, regardless of the situation. The “easy out” is not necessarily the best long-term solution. I promise you this: if you pay attention to the road ahead and know what you are going to do regardless of what comes at you, you will be much better off, have a clear conscience and be happier for it. So anticipate. Be prepared. Don’t just take things as the come; know what you are going to do when they come, and be ready for them.