The Bitter Pill

I wanted to share something I heard in a podcast yesterday by the Ziglar Foundation. If you follow Zig Ziglar, you’re probably probably very familiar with the story as it’s probably one of his most famous examples of things that happened at his events. 

He talks about how he was at an event one day they had like a Q and A time after that people could come talk to him and ask him questions about the event. He said, one day he was standing there and this woman came barreling up the center aisle towards him. And he said, man, she had fire in her eyes. That woman was angry and she got over to him and, and said “Mr. Zigler, I got to talk to you”, and he’s like, “well, how can I help you ma’am.” She responds, “I got to tell you, you’re telling me how to make my life better. Well, you don’t understand” she said, “the job I work is awful. The people are awful. My boss is just miserable. The workload is horrible. Man if you worked where I worked, you would understand. There is no way what you taught me today can have any benefit. It doesn’t apply to my situation.” So they talked and he goes, “well, ma’am, I’m going to challenge you. I’m gonna challenge you for the next 40 days.

He goes on to say, “every day when you get home from work and your responsibilities for the day are done, taking care of the kids, making dinner, and before bedtime, I want you to find a quiet spot and I want you to go by yourself and write down a list of all the things that you love about where you work.” She scoffed at him. “Did you not hear me? I told you where I work is awful. It’s horrible. There was nothing good there.” Zig’s like, “well ma’am I want you to do this exercise before we talk about what your next move should be.” She replies, “Mr. Ziglar. You are not listening to me.” He goes, “give me one, give me one thing that you like, what’s one benefit of your job.” Well, she got all upset and replied, “well, you know, they do pay me all right.” “Open up your notebook” He said, “write that down“. And she just gave him a look like, are you kidding me? And he say’s, “ma’am I can’t help you.If you aren’t going to take the action. If you’re not going to do what I’m asking you to do today, he said, then we’re done.” 

And she just got all upset and they sat down and as they started, they paid her on time. She had a 401k and profit share options, full benefits and four week package of vacation. And by the time they had sat down and gone over some of the things she liked about her job, they had come up with over 40 things that were benefit to her position in her job. And she went home and did what Mr. Ziglar said and continued every day to write down the things that had happened that day, the thing she was grateful for for that job. When she came back to the next event, she was like, “Mr. Ziglar, you would not believe the changes.”

The people are just so much more pleasant. The workload is so much more easier, man. I enjoy going to work everyday. You would not believe how much has changed about where I work.” Do you really think what changed was where she worked or do you think what changed was her attitude about her circumstances? The way she viewed her every single day. See the reality of it is we all have things that we could be just so ungrateful for things that are unfair things that just aren’t right. And if we told some horror story, let me tell you, they would be like, I can’t believe it. You’re right. That is not right. That’s not fair. Just like that woman thought was going to happen. When she came up to Mr. Ziglar, she thought she was going to sit down and tell him, and he’d be like, Oh my goodness, How do you even tolerate those people? 

And instead she was given life changing advice about bitterness. See, we all struggle with bitterness. We all struggle with moments of things, just being unfair, but it’s how we decide to handle them that make a difference.

Now, I myself went through one of the most devastating things in my life a few years ago, I had to with almost no notice, shut down both of my businesses. 

That was my life’s work, 19 years of heart, soul, and sacrifice. And I literally had nothing to show for it. I have had moments where the anger and the bitterness towards the people who put me in that position, who lied to me, whose lack of integrity, put me in a situation that was just not fair has wanted to consume me.

There have been moments almost daily where I get bitter and angry, looking at people who get to go on and do what I love to do because of my work. And I instead now have to pick up the pieces of my life, but see, I have a choice every single time that those emotions come over me. I have a choice to let them consume me and let me keep them in this place of darkness or I have a choice to be grateful for what I do have because of those changes. And I have to remind myself daily that I have so much to still be grateful for. And that, yes, this is heartache. This is painful, but it’s also a season of life, a change. You know, I never pictured it in a million years that I’d be doing a writing about my company’s closing, but I am. Things just did.

And I could give you a compelling story about all the reasons it was unfair and not right, or I can say, okay, what’s next? And those are my choices. If I decide to live in that place of bitterness, if I decide to live in that place of anger and it’s not fair and, and focusing on other people, then I will never move forward in life. But if I make the choice to everyday be grateful for the things I do have. If I’d make a choice every day to redesign my own future, then I have a future to redesign. And we all have these opportunities in life. We all have the chance to not take the bitter pill to not live in a place of it’s not fair. 

Every day, we have an opportunity to think about all the things we have to be grateful for. And as challenging as that time of life had been for me, there is still so many amazing things that I had in my life every day. I have my sons. I have an amazing guy who has stood by my side during the worst days of my life. If I spend my time focusing on all the things I don’t have, then that I’m going to miss out on all the great things I do have, like even just a gorgeous morning, like this with a fantastic view, as I get ready to go and do some work for the day and plan what’s next. I have opportunities in front of me. 

So I challenge each of you, whatever your circumstances are right now, take out a pen and paper and forget the crap. Forget the stuff that weighs us down. Forget the drama, forget the phone call from someone saying, Oh my gosh, can you believe what just happened?

And write down all the things you have to be grateful for, and do it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after and keep doing it until you find yourself in a place where you spend more time being happy and grateful for the amazing things we have in life every single day, regardless of the crap and BS that’s going on around us. 

Cause you know what? We all have it. Everybody, everybody has unfair things going on in their life. Everybody has challenges. Everybody has things that five years from now you’ll look back at it and laugh and be like, I cannot believe I allowed that to consume so much of my energy. So stop letting it. Live in the awesome, that’s my challenge for you today. And you know what, if you can’t say “ouch” say “Amen”.

Let’s change our mindsets and stop living in a place of it’s not fair and why me. Instead, If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.

Hey, some diamonds go on rings and other diamonds dominate them. Let’s dominate the ring of life together.

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