Bitter or Better, Determined or Discouraged

“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better.” ~Barbara Pletcher

I remember many years ago talking to my then much younger son Jacob as he was having to deal with a difficult situation and needing to consider some courageous choices.  We spoke of adversity and challenges and how adversity can make us bitter or better.  The difference being the choice of how we perceive, receive and respond to them.  Do we choose to be discouraged or determined?

He recently reiterated that discussion, saying “Dad do you remember that talk we had?  Well, thanks Dad, I have reflected on it again and again.” ( I was like what?  He was listening?!”) 🙂

Can any of us empathize with this statement and illustration?  “The greatest thing that ever happened to me was the worst thing that every happened to me.”  Because we determined as it was happening that it would never happen to us again. Nor would we allow it to happen to anyone else…it can be these worst things that set us on the path to do every noble and noteworthy thing from that point forward in our lives.  But if we allow discouragement to creep in and take root our lives may simply become a tragic repetition of the very dysfunction and adversity that we despised.

Sometimes it is the worst supervisors that inspire in us a determination to be “nothing like them” or a toxic co-worker whose miserable nature inspires in us a desire to be “extra” pleasant.  Let us be determined not discourage.  Let us choose to become better and not bitter.

And let us determine as leaders to do our very best to teach others to do the same.  Even if it may appear they are not listening.  🙂

Kirk Out


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