For me, thankfulness is appreciating everyday. Some days are tough and some days are full of fluff and fun. Nobody would choose life if they knew they would only have bad days. Good days make the bad ones seem less important, but we all know life is made up of all kinds of days.
I look at tough times like exercise. Resistance training makes damages muscle fibers. When those fibers heal, they become larger and stronger. The same is true of people. When your life gives you challenges, you can face them and become stronger, or you can run away and always be subject to them. If you face them, the ultimate outcome may be a victory or it may be a defeat. But, I would rather look at it like this, you will either win, or you will learn.
I would never want to endure another recession like the recession of 2008 and beyond, but it made me a better investor, a better Realtor, a better contractor, a better employer and quite frankly a better person. It was as ugly as I've seen in my lifetime, but like I said, you either win or you learn. I learned. Ultimately, I won, but it wasn't without a lot of extreme struggles.
It caused me to be a lot more compassionate toward people who have faced financial collapse. They're not all deadbeats who over-extended themselves and lost everything. Sometimes, they're smart people who ran up against a wall of circumstances and were overwhelmed.
In January 2008, my contracting business was booked seven months in advance. My receivables were an inch think in August of 2008. In January 2009, those receivables were still an inch think and more than half of those companies and individuals who owed me money had declared bankruptcy or fled the area. A high percentage of the others were using my money to keep their lives and companies afloat. It squeezed me tighter than I had ever experienced. Was it my fault? Not at all. Did I suffer for it. You bet. Other people caused a great deal of pain in my life and business. Like a lot of the people I mentioned a moment ago, not all who suffer financial collapse did so by their bad choices. Sometimes, they suffer from other people's bad choices. I couldn't see that before the recession, but it became crystal clear during the downturn.
By the time the recession lifted, I was a stronger person, a better employer and a more focused business person. I have fully recovered from the recession, but what was lost during that time is lost. What was gained during that time was appreciation. I appreciate everyday. I also appreciate that you can't take knowledge away from people. What caused me to succeed prior to 2008 also has caused me to succeed since. I've grown as a person, and I've been able to correct my mistakes leading up to the recession. I didn't know they were mistakes at the time, but over time, they have become obvious.
I make much wiser decisions today, and a lot of that is because I suffered a great deal of heartache in those years of struggle. But, like a weight-lifter, I am stronger and more determined than ever to make everyday count. I appreciate everyday; some more than others. And, I am always on the lookout for the lesson of the day. I like to win, but I also like to learn. It's even better when the both come on the same day.
Gratitude Posts - 10