Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding Inspiration for Battle

Young or old, inspiration lies within...
What happens in the moments after you are told you have cancer?

Or when you are let go from a job?  Or when you go through a break up?  Or when you lose someone close to you?

That, my friend, is up to you.

I've been into self help books ever since I spent more time reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey than studying for finals my sophomore year at the University of Michigan.  I don't remember how I scored on the finals, but I sure as hell remember that there is a gap between a stimulus (cancer diagnosis, pink slip, break up, etc.) and your response to said stimulus.

In that moment (and all the moments to follow through your journey) you have the ability to choose how you will move forward.  Not how society expects you to be in your given situation...

How YOU choose be.

I've previously talked about how when one is faced with an immanent scenario the initial choices get easy (Post Here).  In the case of a cancer diagnosis it's either to seek out the right treatment or to let nature take its course.

Pretty cut and dry.

While the choice of your initial path is relatively simply, the day-to-day gut checks and pondering of your new and future reality is the hard part.  It takes a lot of effort to stay up in your battle and you are likely going to find yourself in some valleys.  It's all part of the process.

I often found myself seeking outside advice from fellow cancer fighters, online support forums, and oh yes, self help books when looking for inspiration through my cancer journey.  I also enlisted the help of a family friend (Jim Warner) who is a world class whole life coach, author (check out his new book Drama Free Office), speaker, and entrepreneur, with a personal track record of self discovery.

He gave me an arsenal of tools and opportunities to discover who I was as a person and what I was capable of coming out of my cancer journey.  Going into our work I expected to go through the exercises and he would enlighten me with his wealth of knowledge or the answers would reveal themselves based on an answer key or something of the nature.

Kind of like all of the self help books I've read since sophomore year in college...

Not so much.

The greatest lesson I learned from Jim, and I am sure this is why he is worldly renowned for his work, was that I didn't have to look further than my own life to find the inspiration I needed to move forward.

When reflecting on my life path I found multiple instances where I was dealt a horrible hand and figured out how to overcome and thrive in my new reality.  I reflected back and realized that no matter what the struggle, when I stayed true to myself and learned from the situation, I inevitably came out a better person on the back end.

This revelation calmed me down and made me confident about my future, however long it may be...

As much as our society pushes the success stories of others who overcame great odds on us as the way it has to be done, you often don't have to look further than your own life for the inspiration you need to move forward.

And who better than yourself to Lift your life?

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