When Life Sucks We Should Say Thank You
Life sucks sometimes for all of us. It certainly has for me on more than one occasion. But here’s what I’ve discovered (and it’s what I want you to know as well): your failures are the building blocks for your future success. I wrote a whole book about this because I want everyone to know it’s possible to turn disasters into dreams! It’s exactly what I did, and it’s why when life sucks, I say thank you.
I’m a shitstorm survivor, on multiple counts. I know from experience that the path to success is a bumpy-ass ride down a slippery slope. I also know that when you fail to get what you want, you’ll be better off for it because there’s a big reason why.
If you’d like to learn more about the bumpy-ass life I’ve lived, you can find all the juicy details in my book, but for now, I want to focus on the raging Cat-5 super shitstorm that kicked it all off.
I was accused of a crime I did not commit… at the age of 12. You might be thinking that sounds insane (and it was) but it’s true. It wasn’t for something like stealing a classmate’s favorite pencil or some other petty shit. I was accused of being a rapist even though I didn’t even know what the hell that meant!
So, at the tender age of 12, I was interrogated by police, arrested, had my mugshot taken, and got fingerprinted! I lost (almost) all my friends, had to quit a sport that I loved, got expelled from school, was labeled as a sexual predator in the local newspapers, and my family had to suffer through all the horridness of being seen as relatives of a rapist. My reputation was ruined before it had even fully formed.
As you can imagine, it was a lot to take for a kid my age. It forever changed me. But I think it changed me for the better. Let me explain…
I definitely did not adopt the gratitude for shitstorms perspective in the beginning. It was a false accusation but I didn’t even have a chance before the shitstorm took off. There was one big life lesson I learned right away. It was the value of real friendship. That’s because of my friend, Mark.
He stood by me while I cursed the system and stewed in my pot of hopelessness and despair. He gave me the space to feel all those shitty feelings of anger and bitterness without judgment. He was the only one besides my family who would give me the time of day during that time. Everyone else bored into my skull with disapproving stares when I stepped outside my front door.
Forget trying to figure out how to STEP outside your comfort zone. Try getting thrown out of it… on your head… at the age of 12!
But, enough about the pain and suffering of it all. What I want to convey is how the experience helped me to develop qualities that carried me through future failures and to eventually elevate myself to a level of what I would call amazing success story status.
I seriously doubt I would be living in the home of my dreams with the wife of my dreams and the daughter of my dreams if things had been different. Had I not gone through such a trying period of injustice, I might have turned out to be a big wuss instead! Or, at least, have ended up working for someone else my entire life and never getting to experience the rewards of being my own boss and making my life my own.
That’s why I say thank you to the universe for putting me through a heinous experience that ultimately strengthened my endurance, self-reliance, and perception.
I achieved success by not allowing the fear of failure or the judgments of others to paralyze me. And so, I have come to believe that a healthy dose of rebellion and a zero fucks attitude can be helpful on the path to success. And I have the harrowing events I recounted above to thank for that!
Once again, I say thank you for the monstrous struggle that paved the way for my joys and successes yet to come.
Here’s the thing: When one door closes, it’s meant to close. You just need to find another door that opens for you, and there will be countless doors to choose from.
After the shitstorm, when the completely false accusation blew over (finally!) and I was free of that horrid lie, I opened a new door to a new tribe and a new creative outlet. I had lost my connection with baseball by that point and had discovered a new group of friends: the outsiders. The rebels. The punks.
I learned the value of a community where you can be your authentic self, and through my new community, I discovered a new outlet, punk music. I’ll let you dive into my book for the surprising details of how that all turned out. I just wanted to offer those tidbits to corroborate my premise that there’s an opportunity in everything, even when it seems like it’s the end of the world.
If you’re going through (or have been through) a horrible trauma that you think is the end, I hope my story can help you see things from a different perspective.
Here’s what I know for sure: We are all stronger than we realize, and when we tap into our well of emotional strength and power through the worst of times, this is when we are truly at our most badass!
Learn more about why I say thank you when shit goes sideways in my new book here!