It's almost the New Year, the time for resolutions. Grand expectations. Weight loss. Goal-setting. Making a change for the better and trying to stick with it for the next 365 days.
Then, the first week winds down and the confetti settles. Champagne gets flat. By this time, I can’t tell you how many Facebook posts I see saying things, “Can we just start this New Year over?” Or, “I need a re-do.” And, of course, the standard: “This is the worst year ever!”
Since we have such high expectations for the New Year, we get frazzled at the first thing that goes wrong. We tend to associate the first week of the New Year with how the rest of the year will go. We think, “Why does everything happen to me?”
Having expectations and setting goals is important and you should definitely do it. In fact, if you haven’t written out a list of the goals you want to accomplish, stop reading and do it now! We have all heard that you are more likely to work toward a goal and accomplish it if it’s written down.
But this column isn’t about goal-setting; I wrote about that last year. This is about changing your perspective. The minute something goes wrong in the New Year we are more disappointed than if something went wrong in May or September. We get used to disappointments by then and can easily adjust.
That’s why I want you to change your perspective. Maybe things aren’t happening to you, they are happening for you. This is a hard one to take in. At least it’s difficult for me. Remember when your knees hurt as a kid and your mom said, “Those are growing pains!” Well, we don’t stop growing when we get older. We just grow in other ways.
The growing is tough and painful. We are stretched in ways that hurt (sort of like my yoga class this morning). But the growth is important. When things go wrong, take it as an opportunity to stretch yourself. When we are stretched, we truly discover all that we’re capable of.
Every time you are disappointed that something doesn’t go your way, you can more easily adjust and bounce back. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a path to your goals yet, or if you’re struggling to keep students coming through your door. The difficult times are what makes the easy times seem … well, easy!
You know this already. But I think we need to be constantly reminded. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! At one point or another, we will all be in the hills and all be in the valleys. In the valleys, you stretch yourself. You grow. You prepare for the climb. In the hills, you get to bask in the glory of your hard work to get there.
If you’re struggling with your school, you are not in it alone, even if you feel alone right now. You just need someone to guide you through the valleys. The Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) is here when you need guidance. We have consultants who have been where you are — in the valleys — and who climbed out.
So, this year, I challenge you to tell yourself in the difficult times, “This is all happening for me, not to me. I will grow and get stronger for the next time.”
And each time it will get easier to not think life is out to get you. Life is tough. But so are you.
Melissa Torres is the Martial Arts Industry Association Division Manager and can be reached at [email protected] masuccess.com.
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