Friday, September 2, 2011

Create The Good

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ~~Leonardo da Vinci~~

This has been a tough year for a lot of people. Between the aftermath of Irene, the earthquake, the floods… the unemployment, the economy, the debt… it’s hard for me to sit here and tell you that everything happens for a reason.

Personally, I have to hold on to the notion that there’s a greater plan, and that I can’t possibly begin to understand that plan, but that’s not the practical advice that “you can use today” that I’ve become known for.

What if, instead, we look for ways to make something good happen from every situation?

Irene, like many of the recent weather issues, created a need for communities to come together in a way I have not witnessed in a while. Families helping one another, even those they don’t know; municipalities offering free services to entire towns in some instances; it has made room for the possibility of everyone actually working as a team moving towards a common goal.

I had a client tell me yesterday that his recent unemployment has given him the time he has not made in a while to take care of himself and get a few things off of his to-do list. He’s been to the doctor, fixed a few things, did some preventative maintenance… and in light of the recent weather, some of this may have saved his house…

I had another client tell me that her (more long-term) unemployment has given her the opportunity to volunteer. As she tries to stay busy and be useful (as well as keep the gaps off of her résumé) she has been working hard in her town to increase the amount of food in the local food pantry and raise awareness about the hunger issues very close to home.

Even in my own family, since the recent passing of my grandmother, my Dad is spending much more time with his father, and creating happiness in his life he hasn’t seen in the last few years. It’s been awesome to hear joy in my grandfather’s voice again, despite the loss of his partner and wife of 68 years!

On Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, total strangers are reaching across the globe to help others in need. From encouragement and support to resume writing and career help, to fundraising for little-known but highly valuable causes… the world is getting smaller in these times…

I’m not going to pretend that this will always be easy. It will not. I can’t tell you that I always find a silver lining the first time I look. I don’t. But I know that there is one, or at least the chance to create one.

I challenge us all to find a way to make something good happen every day, in every situation, no matter how difficult.

Today I will spread positive energy served with a smile everywhere I go. What will you do today?