Do you have problems in your life which drag you down? What if you could learn how to turn obstacles into opportunities?
One of the ReFIRE principles deals with becoming free. Do the obstacles in your life entangle you and keep you from living the kind of life you desire?
You might think I’m worse than an ambulance chaser when you read the next sentence. Last week I attended Patty Duke’s funeral. I’m not a funeral chaser. But when I read in the local paper the funeral was for family, friends, and fans we decided to attend. Besides, the funeral was being held one mile from our apartment.
It was a thrilling to hear Melissa Gilbert, child star of Little House on the Prairie, give tribute to her friend Patty. They starred together in the remake of the Miracle Worker. Melissa did a fabulous job in a tough situation.
But the one speaker who captured my attention was her son Mackenzie Astin. While fighting back tears and struggling to control his emotions, he shared what he thought his mom will always be remembered for. Surprisingly, it wasn’t her acting career and all her awards. From his perspective, she will best be remembered as the first actor who went public with a personal mental illness.
He talked about how she became the spokesperson for people suffering from bipolar disease. She wrote several books on the subject and worked hard to increase awareness, funding, and research for people with mental illness.
She took a terrible situation, embraced it, and used it to do an amazing amount of good.
Her life teaches us that, if we are willing, the terrible things in life can be used to do an incredible amount of good.
What is it in your life which causes pain, brings shame, and lives in the darkness at the back of the storage closet? It is exactly THAT thing which might be used to help others.
As we age, the number of things hidden in the closet increases. Most of us secret obstacles. The thought of broadcasting those things makes the heart race. But what if you took one of those scary things and used it to make a difference in your world?
I’m no martial arts expert but I know judo is all about using the energy of your opponent. As the big bad man rushes at you, the idea is to plant your feet, redirect his energy, and watch him sail across the room.
Is there a way for you to use a judo move and redirect something bad into something good? That’s what Patty Duke did and the world is a better place.
If you want to explore this idea further I’ve created a checklist of 5 real judo throws which can be used to spark ideas on how to turn your obstacles into opportunities. This brief list serves as a reminder that nothing positive will happen to those negative life-challenges unless we take drastic action.