Now that you have accepted and faced into the situation and you’re not looking to blame anyone, you are ready for step three: Learning the lessons.
Step Three requires us to ask the questions: “What lesson is there in this experience? How can I grow from this? What is the hidden message? How can this add meaning to my life? What can I learn from this to bring more meaning to my life? Can I learn something? There is always a lesson in every experience, what can I learn right here, right now? What can I use to make myself a better person?”
As Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, in every adversity there is a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. There is always a lesson. Our goal is to be constantly improving ourselves.
To overcome adversity, we must pause to pay attention to life and see what lessons we can learn. Here is an example:
A young and successful executive was traveling down a crowded neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. All of a sudden, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes. He jumped out of the car and ran back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. Grabbing some kid he pushed him up against a parked car asking, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!!”
Building up a head of steam he went on. “That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”
“Please, mister, please. I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do,” pleaded the youngster.
“I threw the brick because no one else would stop…” Tears were dripping down the boy’s cheeks as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”
Moved beyond words, the driver lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay.
“Thank you,” the grateful child said to him.
The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to his Jaguar. And he never did repair the side door.
He kept the dent to remind himself of the lesson, and not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.
I believe that it is important to pay careful attention to the messages life sends us. Can we hear the whispering of these messages? Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, to learn, to think – we feel like we just had a brick thrown at us. It’s our choice: To listen to the whisper and learn the lessons — or wait for the brick.