Answer Research

Are you looking at the manure or are you looking for the pony?

29 November, 2011

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." - Charles Dickens

The above quote really resonated with me when I read it. I took a moment, paused, and reflected on today's email.

Yesterday I received a call from an old friend, a brother you could say. We haven't connected in some time and I was happy to hear from him.

When I say he's a brother, I mean in a fraternal sense. He too is a martial artist, very skilled, very committed to his continued studies of the same. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Over the past thirty years he's developed a very high skill level.

He was slightly intoxicated, buzzed I guess would be a better way to phrase it. We caught up on the "what's happening in your life?" stuff and the conversation segued into what I felt was a played out area.

I look back on the days when he and I first met, became friends and trained together with fondness. The days eating Top Ramen for lunch and dinner, traveling to competitions to coach our teams, routing for the "other team" to irritate the locals....all good stuff.

On the contrary, he was looking at those days like it was hell. "Remember the bonehead so and so...." or "How about that jerk that did the...." or "I just talked to such and such and he didn't give me the time of day...."

No wonder.

I invite you to review the above quote by Charles Dickens again, "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

You have a multitude of possibilities open to you. There has never been a time like today. Technology, emerging economies and people driven to reach for new levels of excellence are the norm not the exception.

The difference is what you focus on. Even if you are just starting out and don't have the proverbial pot to pee in, you can choose to focus on the great things in life. Or, you can be like my friend, have everything to be happy about and focus on the crap.

That choice is uniquely yours.

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