Sometimes life happens around you. But sometimes it happens to you.
A friend told me about a devastating experience he had early in his leadership. He was doing all the things he thought he was supposed to do, and good things were happening as a result. But his boss became jealous of his energy, ideas, and forward momentum.
His boss decided to make his life difficult to ensure he didn’t progress in the organization. It crushed my friend. He didn’t understand it, wasn’t prepared for it, and had no context to process what this guy did. We can all pride ourselves on being strong, resilient, and focused, but sometimes life breaks us.
This was my friend’s dream job in his dream industry. He believed if this didn’t work out, then he didn’t stand a chance of creating the life he had always dreamed about. It was a very difficult and dark time in his life. Through it all, my friend never forgot he had a choice to make. He could become bitter or use the experience to make him a better leader.
What is meant to break you can actually help you.
My friend eventually had to leave the company because his boss was relentless. It was a tough few years for my friend as he figured out what was next. But today he would tell you his life is even bigger and better than he ever imagined. And he credits his success to that boss who worked so hard to make sure he never succeeds at anything—ever. In fact, my friend claims he learned so well what not to do that it formed the foundation of how he builds people and teams today.
Sometimes life is going to come at you hard. It’s going to knock you down, take your breath away, and seemingly set you back. How you respond to those situations is going to make all the difference. I’m not suggesting you don’t acknowledge the pain and disappointment. That’s part of the human experience. I am suggesting that you recognize you always have a choice in every situation.
You can choose to step away or step into your destiny.
You can choose to tear down or lift up the people around you.
You can choose to be bitter or become better.
It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you respond.
The key is not to let your circumstances define you. Rather, use your circumstances to fuel your leadership and to live into the full potential of your divine design. Nothing is wasted in life. Everything is valuable and can become profitable if you allow it to propel you forward rather than hold you back.