The world can look like an amazon bushfire somedays.
When my mind is put through a blender I like to find stories. Human stories have the power to show you an alternative. They can get you out of a dark place if you let them.
Took me hours to find these four stories. They’ll knock you off your feet.
The extraordinary lengths we will go to find love
A young woman needs a transplant. Her sister has the same transplant and it goes horribly wrong.
Her partner tells her to have it. “It’s worth one year of good health.” One year becomes six years. Many beautiful experiences are shared. The news eventually turned bleak again. Her health challenges weren’t over. No, they were simply delayed with the transplant.
Brett, her partner, after getting the bad news, decided to marry her. He described his wife as strong for a small person. Strong people lose battles against their own bodies when terminal illnesses are involved. That’s what happened to his warrior, his queen, his everything.
Rather than sadness, Brett became overwhelmed by the beauty in the fact he even got to have her in his life at all. If he had to do it all over again, he still would have married a woman who had a guaranteed date with death. The only thing Brett would trade for this experience with his now-deceased wife is more years with her.
The courage to marry a dying person is incredible. Real love even transcends death. Chase that person to the ends of the earth.
A company built in the back of an Uber after a terrible firing
A man named Brian lost his job in March 2020. For the next eighteen months he applied for more than one-thousand jobs and got rejected. This is well beyond the point most of us will give up.
Recruiters and hiring managers told him he’s not smart enough, despite his five degrees. They told him he couldn’t run a business, despite him running businesses for Berkshire Hathaway(Warren Buffet’s firm). They said his ego was too big and he wasn’t worldly enough, despite three combat tours in the army over twenty-five years.
He had enough of the corporate rejection. Instead, he decided to build a law firm. That’s not the cool part.
At the same time he drove a car for multiple rideshare companies like Uber. Not to solely earn money. No. He did it so he could hand out business cards to potential future customers. Driving for Uber became his marketing plan. That’s not all. He also stocked shelves at a local store to pay his bills. In his spare time he does legal document reviews to earn extra money.
Entrepreneurship is seen as sexy. I don’t think so.
People like Brian who work three jobs and endure thousands of job rejections are the real ones to look up to. This is resilience. This is more than hustle. This is the human spirit showing enormous courage. Grit and determination pay off if you have a heart of gold like Brian.
Parents who become lifeless over a chemical still get love
At 19 Dakota attended a music festival. On the way home he saw a woman walking. He recognized her. She had a lost look in her eyes. She gazed up at the night sky looking for answers.
At 4-feet away Dakota had a waterfall of words on the edge of his tongue. So much he needed to say, wanted to say.
His friends kept walking. Dakota stood there staring at her like a creep. The woman was high on drugs. You could say she was alive, but the truth is she was lifeless. Her actions resembled that of a zombie on its way to the apocalypse.
With people everywhere, Dakota decided not to stop and engage the foreign life form. That is the biggest regret of his life.
The zombie is his mother. Two weeks after the encounter she died of an overdose after battling a crack addiction for years, which cost her $100K, her home, and her family. The experience robbed his father of his soul.
The only regret Dakota has is he didn’t tell his mother that he loved her before she died of an overdose. Maybe love would have healed her addiction. Even if it didn’t, maybe love could have brought him peace with this difficult situation.
It blows my mind that after a parent causes a son so much pain through drugs, that a son can still forgive them later in life. The parent-child bond is incredible. It’s something scientists will never fully be able to explain.
Beauty depends on who tells the story
Crash! Another vehicle collides with her while cycling.
This isn’t the first time. The accident messes up her face and teeth. Four years later a jaw bone graft is needed. A few years after that her body rejects the dental implants.
Another trip to hospital. Surgery happens. She wakes up and finds out there isn’t enough jawbone for her new dental implants. No biggie, right?
Well, one of her front teeth went missing after the surgery. Even with a shower and a fresh face of makeup, she looked like she just got out of a bar fight with a biker in a leather jacket. For five hours after seeing her new face, she cried like a newborn baby with sobs in between deep breathes.
As an executive coach and public speaker, she thought she needed a pretty face to do her job. Eventually it hit her. You have to embrace who you are and own it. So she did. She made fun of the fact her front tooth was gone. She couldn’t control her circumstances but she could control her reaction.
It’s heartwarming to know that we tell our story. If you lost your front tooth then make it into a story. Clients and colleagues will love the story more than they will care about a change in appearance.
Beauty is found in your soul, not in a jawbone or dental implant.
There’s no need to keep yourself down.
If a man can marry a terminally ill woman. If a person can work three jobs and endure thousands of rejections and still build a law firm. If a kid can forgive a mother who destroyed his childhood and stole his dad’s soul. If a woman can go through multiple bike accidents and show up to work with no front tooth and pretend nothing happened.
My question is this: what can you achieve on your hard days? If these four stories from everyday people are anything to go by, a helluva lot.
Don’t give up.