Written by: Joe Fiduccia
It’s no secret that life almost seems to enjoy the barrage of challenges it throws our way every day. Some we win, and others we lose. But with every challenge comes another bit of wisdom we rightfully earn.
Wisdom that can add impeccable value to the future years still ahead of us.
This week in particular has far surpassed what I consider to be a fair share of challenges. It has been riddled with unexpected twists and turns that have taken me on an emotional roller-coaster I never intended to ride.
And I think everyone can relate to these moments. With everything coming at us at once, we go from zero to sixty in no time flat. Anxiety sets in, stress takes over, and we stay up all night asking ourselves those same old questions:
– Why is all of this happening at once?
– How will I ever get through this?
– Is this what destiny has planned for me?
– Is there is lesson the universe is still trying to teach me?
– How much more of this can I take?
Sounds familiar right?
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: this is nothing new. You have already been here before. You have experienced the same anxiety, and you have asked yourself the same questions. Over, and over, and over again.
Yet it didn’t matter how difficult things were at the time. You found your way through it. And that’s why you can find your way through it now.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a short trip together.
A few nights ago in the middle of this hectic week, I was walking the garbage cans to the front of my driveway. The stars were out in full force, and the air was crisp but still very comfortable. As I turned around to head back inside, I noticed the moon was starting to peak directly over the roof of our house.
So I stopped and just stood there for a few minutes, watching the moon slowly rise and shine a beam of light down on the house that was so bright, it might as well have been daytime.
It was like the angels were trying to tell me something. And I think I know exactly what it was.
Everything the moonlight lit up around our property I had done myself. From figuring out how to draw the blueprints for the construction of our house, to almost giving up on finding a good piece of property to build on, to building a matching utility shed with virtually no help. I had done it all with my own two hands.
None of these project were easy. But even though I had no experience and no guidance at the time, I wasn’t afraid to try. And eventually I found a way to make it all work.
Then with my eyes, I stripped away the outer walls of our house and began visualizing everything on the inside. I pictured the day I installed the garage door openers that took 6 hours longer than expected. Or the two months I spent finishing the basement when it was only supposed to take one. Or the time when our water heater broke unexpectedly, forcing me to tackle something I had never done before at a time when I should have been sleeping.
Despite every obstacle, I did it all. I finished what I had started, I dealt with the unexpected situations as they came up, and I gained another drop of experience each and every time.
As I stood there at the top of my driveway, it was as if the angels were taking me on a journey through my past, attempting to remind me of where I have been and trying to show me how far I have already come.
But apparently I wasn’t getting the message. So they kept the history tour going, this time into my distant past.
I recalled a time before my teens when I played in a baseball league. I wasn’t very good and even ended up losing one of the games because of my own error. I was heartbroken and cried for days. Later on in the season however, I made up for it by winning a game in the very last inning. They even called me the “boomerang kid” for coming back so strong.
Then there were the days where my best friends all of a sudden became my worst enemies. I remember going to school in fear because I didn’t know what to expect. Kids would make fun of me, taunt me, and make some days so unbearable that I just wanted to crawl into corner.
But my mom would always tell me that none of it would matter in a few years. That these people were only in my life temporarily, and that they would soon start going in different directions with their own lives.
Her advice was spot on, and I ultimately survived the school years.
I then started thinking of those tests in college that seemed impossible to prepare for, and the exams that were so scary you couldn’t sleep until it was all over. But I prepared as best I could each time, and though I failed some of them, I eventually graduated with honors.
And then there is my first career. After spending eight months on a job hunt and fresh out of college, I finally found a company willing to interview me a position as a corporate trainer. But in order to be considered, I had to do a formal 20-minute presentation in front of 12 people whom I had never met before.
Now I had no experience in the corporate world, and they gave me no expectations other than to “bring my a-game.” So walking in blindly, I gave it my best shot. And 15 years later, I still look back on that day as the first step in a career that ultimately treated me very well.
Back to the top of my driveway, maybe 10 minutes had passed as these memories continued. And you know what that night made me realize?
I have already gone farther than I ever thought was possible. Like everyone else in this world, I have hit more walls in my life than I care to remember, and I have faced (sometimes unwillingly) more challenges than I can count.
But every time, I have found a way through them…just like you have.
“Is life difficult sometimes?” Yes.
“Do new challenges await for tomorrow?” You bet.
“Will those bumps in the road become a thrill ride like no other?” That, my friends, is up to you.
Like the beginning climb of a theme park roller coaster, life is a long walk up a steep mountain. But when you finally get to see what awaits on the other side, that’s what makes it all worth living.
Standing at the top of my driveway that night was like standing on Mt. Everest. I was reminded of the extensive climbing I had done to get there. And in the chaos of the week’s circumstances that were bringing me down, I realized that all of the challenges I have faced in life have helped prepare me for what lies ahead.
In that moment, I was ready to keep climbing. But this time, it was just for fun.
So when you experience those weeks that push you back down the mountain, remember this: you have already made it this far. Let your past experience be the push you need to get back up and to keep on climbing. Because no matter what life throws at you tomorrow, it’s no match compared to the limitless triumphs of yesterday.
Don’t worry. You got this. RIGHT?