By Dick O'Brien MASc, speaker at networking meetings, Happen Inc. Canada.

I frequently read about people who call themselves experts.  It is my experience that there are no experts in life.  I find that it is far better to be a student of life than an expert.

 I also feel that the lessons of life take place every day and come from all sources.  The person you work with, a stranger you meet or a very close friend , are all potential teachers in our lives.

Make time to become aware and reflect on what life teaches you especially in the challenging moments.  Here are a few lessons of life and some personal commitments to live up to them.

The lesson of Life's Surprises - Life has always been unpredictable.  Security and stability are an illusion.  I must remind myself of this often and Learn to live with Uncertainty.  When I look back in my life I can clearly see that I only grew when I was outside of my comfort zone. 

I can no longer afford to play it safe and hide from the challenges and opportunities of life.  I will become comfortable with discomfort. I will remain calm, think clearly and believe in myself in the face of adversity. I must cultivate the strength inside of me to deal with whatever life sends me.

Life can be difficult! - Life is a struggle for everyone.  We grow from the struggles of life to either become bitter or better.  It is far too easy for me to see myself as a victim of life.  It is an emotional trap that depletes my performance and my spirit.

 I will catch myself when I start to feel like a victim.  I will recognize this trap for what it is--a pit of fear and self pity that puts a lock on my future, my success and my capacity to love.  I now know that my struggles in life do not stem from what has happened to me but more from how I reacted to them.  I will realize that my problems and challenges are there for me to grow and become a better person.  I will choose to be a victor rather than a victim.

The Protection of my own spirit - If I allow it, the many struggles and surprises of life will eventually get me down and tap out my spirit.  Commiseration, rumours and complaining only poison my mind and depress my heart.

 I now know that I am responsible for my own morale.  I will commit daily to manage my own morale and not leave my spirit and attitudes in the hands of others.  I will take the road less traveled and redouble my efforts on the more difficult days so that they do not become an excuse for me to slide into the despair I know so well from my past.

The Rule of Change  -    All things change all the time. Change is not going away.  There are no corners to turn or dust to settle and things are not going to go back to the way they were.  I must learn to optimize and neutralize rather than awfulize and villianize in the face of ever constant change. 

 My personal opinion about whether it is fair, frustrating or futile will not alter this reality.  I will remember this thought in the difficult times.  I will press through the discomfort and see the opportunities of the moment.  If I cannot yet see any good in this change I will at least not allow it to corrupt my spirit, steal my health or impact my family. I will endeavour to continually develop and maintain my capacity to be change hardy.


R D O'Brien and Associates

Voice (905) 632-0011

Fax (905) 632-1982

Email dickobrien@cogeco.ca

Dick O'Brien is a therapist, consultant and professional speaker.  He has a masters degree in counselling from the University of Waterloo and is president of Work-Place Wellness.  He is a regular presenter in the field of wellness and stress management for corporations, government agencies and police departments.