I have good news and bad news for you today.
First the positive news:
You are going to get through this fear and challenging time.
Now the bad news:
It’s going to suck.
But only as bad as you make it suck.
Also the bad news is:
This is not the last time you will face adversity, change, fear, and loss.
One of the beautiful parts of our human experience is walking through what can sometimes feel like hell.
A Lesson From my Grandpa
When I was eight years old, my grandfather Ray Arnold, picked me up from the house we rented and drove me out to the house he was building for my dad.
It was about a 40-minute drive (not including the stops for apple pie and ice cream that happened almost every day).
My grandfather used those times to tell me stories and teach me lessons, many of them about leadership.
We spent every day together for nearly six years. Until as it happens, at 14 years old, all of a sudden, I knew EVERYTHING.
Ok, not really. It seems I knew everything at eight years old too.
My grandfather was one of my best friends. I still hear him speaking to me to this day.
One day, we were laying stone on the side of the house, building up the veneer over the plywood sheeting.
I was using a brick hammer to cut the edge, so it would fit into the course we were laying.
As I was hammering away, I slipped and smashed my thumb. I yelped out loud and then I started crying.
Ugh! My smashed thumb was bleeding.
My grandfather came over, put his arm around me and said, “You know how to make your left thumb stop hurting? Take the hammer and smash your right thumb too!”
We both started laughing, and soon my tears and fear were gone.
My grandfather understood that when you’re facing pain, fear and discomfort, you can either wallow in it, or you can find a way to laugh, smile, and focus on something more positive.
He always seemed to find something funny to say. Especially when I needed it most.
My Grandfather’s Positivity
Every time I saw my grandfather, he greeted me with a big smile and a hug. It didn’t matter how rough his day had been, he always chose to smile and have a positive attitude on everything.
Even on his deathbed when pancreatic cancer was stealing his life and
causing him incredible pain, he smiled and focused on the positive.
His last words to me were, “You’re going to do well in life, Gabe.”
This was just after lost my construction business, filed for bankruptcy, divorce, and lost my home. Whew! Tough times, indeed.
In the middle of what appeared to be hell for me, my grandfather, (who was experiencing a painful death), chose to be positive and encourage me.
That’s how you will survive hell.
You beat it with love and positivity.
Crush it by choosing love over fear and hate.
Survive hell by building the mental toughness that my grandfather embodied.
My son’s middle name is Ray, named after my Grandfather
I want my son to carry the same undying positivity and persistence.
My friend, I want you, not only to survive this new season in life and business, but I want you to thrive too!
The best and brightest way you can do that is by choosing your attitude.
Choose to show up and serve completely;
To love more deeply;
Must always Overdeliver (as my friend Brian Kurtz has taught me to do).
One thing I know for sure, If you want this, you got this.