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The Beauty of Trials & Tribulations

Life will have it's ups and downs … the trials and tribulations we face comes uninvited, is timing insensitive, and occurs in every season of life. I have my own challenges and while I'm not sure where you're hurting right now, there is beauty in these experiences!

One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. A fairy tale that teaches several life lessons on love, devotion, sacrifice, death, and life's adventures. In one particular scene, Westley - masked as the Dread Pirate Roberts kidnaps his true love Buttercup and tells her … "Life is PAIN, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

"Life is Pain" whether it's in the form of disappointments, hardships, heartaches, and difficult conditions … it's inevitable and certain as breathing. When PAIN feeds into our fears and we allow it to suffocate and paralyze us, we stay safe in our comfort zone --- stifling growth. We regress remaining as victims instead of becoming victors of our circumstances. While it's only natural that we shield ourselves and the people we love from having to endure any pain, stress, or suffering, who does this really serve?

"You should never regret anything in life. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience."

Trials are when we face difficult experiences and Tribulations are when adversity strikes our lives. Steve Jobs shared that one of the most devastating times of his life was in 1985. He became a public failure and was fired by Apple, the company he built. Steve also said it was the best thing that happened to him because "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again … it freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." He then started NeXT, Pixar, meets an amazing woman - Laurene Powell who would become his wife, and return to become Apple's CEO. Even as Steve faced pancreatic cancer, his last words before parting were "OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW."

Like Steve Jobs, we each have our own story and share similar struggles. It could be challenges in our career, finances, health, relationships, and so on. It's OK to feel anxious and be afraid. This state of discomfort is fertile ground for growth. When our journey don't go as planned, we're given an opportunity learn and grow. The real question is … "Are you GOING through it or are you GROWING through it?"

Looking back in our own lives, we've faced tough times which we eventually pushed through. The real value of these experiences comes from what we learned. It's evaluated experience. How we respond to every ordeal determines our state of awakening … discovering our true colors … our real self. Did we succumb to lowering our standards and compromise our core values? Or did we rise higher?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Trials and tribulations are beautiful life lessons … embrace it as these are defining moments. As difficult and uncomfortable as it seems, it's also when we're at our most awakened state. We must dig deep and find the fight from within … to be greater than our environment. What we choose to focus on starts defining who we are and what we are becoming. Choose better and step into your next level of maturity as this brings wisdom and builds character. Move towards living your dreams instead of living in your fears.

Discover the Leader within You!

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