Monday, March 29, 2010

Winds of Change

"Your worst day can be your best day....if it changes you" - Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins is very well known in my industry. He is a renowned motivational speaker, a sales expert and an achievement coach. Even though he doesn't realize it (as we have never actually met), he is also partly responsible for my new, re-energized career path and goals. This was Richard's Facebook status one day last week. (I really hope he doesn't mind me borrowing it).

As often happens with Richard's quotes, this one really stuck with me. It brought to mind that so many of us often let the negative events in our lives form excuses for our failures , both personal and professional, instead of our motivation for success. I, myself, have been guilty of this very thing in the past.

How many times have we allowed a failed relationship to confirm, in our minds, that there is no true soul mate out there for us? How often have we failed to win a race, only to give up the sport entirely? Why does a less than successful business negotiation or project often convince us that we have made the wrong career choice? It seems that it is our nature to allow negative events to govern our life choices, and not in a positive way.

Truly successful people are able to take these negative experiences, find the life lesson and to allow that lesson to change them in a positive way. That negative experience is used, not as an excuse for self-pity and despair, but as a motivator for success. How many times have we seen an Olympic athlete, smiling on the podium with a medal around their neck, only to hear the story of their disappointing attempt, or even injury, at the previous games? If they had allowed that negative event to defeat them, surely they would not be standing proudly on the world stage today.

Of course, in my own life there have been several failures, both personal and professional. My tendency has always been to allow less than ideal outcomes to defeat me. Perhaps not for long, but I can easily say that I have not always been able to find the "lesson" and allow it to change me.

This past summer, our family experienced what I would consider to be its worst day. My husband was laid off from his job of 17 years. While this was particularly devastating for him, it really turned our entire family upside down. For the past 6 years or so, Marc was our primary breadwinner. I worked a little here and there, but I was really relying on him to keep the family going. Whatever money I made was basically "fun money".

I remember the teary-eyed conversation that I had with my Broker about how I was going to need to get a "real job" with a steady paycheck. Surely, I couldn't be the one to support my family in a career as unpredictable as real estate? Without pulling any punches, Nelson told me that Marc losing his job could very well be the best thing that has ever happened to me. He told me that I could allow this experience to knock me down for the count, or I could discover the very valuable lesson within and allow it to change me for the better. He told me "The world is telling you that you should no longer be a passenger in your own life! Now get out there and do something about it!"

Very wise words from a very wonderful leader. He knew that I was capable of so much more than I was achieving, but it took a real kick in the teeth for me to realize it. More than 6 months later, things are going better than I could have dreamed possible. Sure, it hasn't been smooth sailing, but with my new found perspective on things, I am always looking for the lesson in each of life's "road bumps".

I am sure that almost everyone can relate. Just think of how much better our lives would be if we allowed our worst day to become our best day, simply by learning something and allowing it to change us for the better.

J :)


  1. great story. keep up the inspiring work!

  2. My Hero, "only if it changes you" and it did. I am so proud of you

  3. Beautifully written and very moving, Jenn! Thank you for sharing your story...

  4. Excellent Jenn, we can all relate to that as it's been a tough year for many. Thanks for sharing this!