Unexpected hardship has the potential to bring out our best. Of course it can also bring out our worst. I believe that in hardship we are often forced to evaluate our priorities, to re think what we really care about, what is most important to us and act on that.
Many people who experience hardships look back to see it as a blessing in their lives. You have heard the stories of those who diagnosed with illness have turned their lives around. People who have lost loved ones or lost mobility who through their losses have found new strength.
I know that hardship hits all of us, yet it does not lead to change for all of us. Sometimes that is because for those people are happy with their lot. Yet I suspect many times it is due to the trappings of life that make change more difficult. People are trapped into their lives by large debts, a desire to have certain things, to live a certain way that closes out potentially meaningful change and experiences.
What I call on you all to do is to look at your life now, before the next hardship, to re-evaluate what is important to write down your values and the hows of how you would like to live your life and start living that way now.
Personally I have found that living more simply, making sustainable choices (including fixing what is broken, buying second hand clothing where possible, considering what I buy and where I buy it) has lead to more freedom to make other choices.
Yes I acknowledge these are the challenges of the middle class - those of us priviledged to have had a good education and to have a fairly steady income stream. Yet that is a lot of us - it is probably you. So what are you waiting for.
Make a splash:
reconsider you values
write yourself a mission statement of how you want to live your life
make a list of just a couple of small things you can do now to make that difference to your life and start doing them
And yet - in the pressure we often put on ourselves, to do more, to make a bigger difference. We can forget that it is the little things that often make the biggest difference - giving someone your full attention, smiling, being kind, thoughtful. Happiness is catching - do things that make you happy - exercise, lying in the sun, listening or playing music, games - and you will be a joy for others to be around also.