W.I.N. Wednesday: When bad things happen.
Last week I talked about the reality that you are not a product of your circumstances; you are a product of your decisions. It is inevitable that in life bad things are going to happen to you. When those bad things happen you have a choice as to how you respond.
Jason Schechterle is a former Phoenix police officer who was badly burned when his police vehicle was struck from behind by a vehicle travelling over 100 mph. Jason was trapped inside his patrol vehicle, which burst into flames. He suffered severe burns to over 40% of his body and has undergone 50 surgeries since the collision. Despite his severe injuries and ongoing medical issues Jason describes himself as “The luckiest man alive.” He says that when something bad happens you have three choices:
1. Let it define you.
2. Let it destroy you.
3. Let it strengthen you.
Jason has chosen to let the events and challenges in his life strengthen him and his wife Susie had made the same choice.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved."
I had the privilege of listening to Jason in September of 2017 at the National Tactical Officers Association conference where he was the opening keynote speaker and I was teaching some breakout sessions. He told the audience, “Adversity does not stop. Life is going to try to kick your ass every day.” He talked about having to take an Uber to the event location as he is losing his eyesight due to complications from the burns. He shared the stories of his father dying the year before and that just two months prior to the conference he spoke at the funeral of the doctor who was instrumental in saving his life following the collision and who had become a close friend who died at age 52.
“Resilience is not about bouncing back, it is about moving through. Through hardship to happiness. Through pain to wisdom. Through suffering to strength. What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives.”
Eric Greitens, Resilience
Few of us will face the kind of challenges and hardships that Jason faced and continues to face. Some of you will face greater challenges and hardship. But, you will all face challenges and hardships as life tries to kick your ass every day. When you feel life trying to kick your ass remember W.I.N., and remember that you have a choice as to how you respond.
What’s Important Now? - When bad things happen let it strengthen you, continue to move through and remember these words from Jason Schechterle “Don’t let the pain of today blind you from the promise of tomorrow.”
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
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