When you get knocked down, like the song goes, do you get up again? Due to my official self appointed title of E.O.O — “Expert Obstacle Overcomer”– I just had to address this topic. It seems like I see too many who stop believing in the light at the end of their tunnels. We all have different backgrounds and coping mechanisms — but shootings and suicides and antidepressants? Oh my! We have to believe there’s a better way!
For me, any one of my stumbles could have shut me down. Trust me, they tried! An MS diagnosis, a floundering business, unexplained infertility? How did I keep going? I just kept making adjustments and finding alternate routes to achieve my goals. Yes, most obviously I’ve adjusted with geriatric walkers, a wheelchair and a mobility scooter! Most importantly, though, I kept going — looking for the next rainbow with a smile. Even though I didn’t know exactly how I would achieve my goals for a business, a family, my health, a book, I knew that I would. I believed.
As I share in Stumble to Rise, I’ve discovered that there isn’t just one way to accomplish a desired end result. “When the most obvious route becomes impassible, there is another one ready to be traveled. While accepting some support along the way, it becomes our job to find that alternate path.”
Like a piece of clay, we, also, have to be malleable. In the face of mounting odds, we must stumble, recalculate, adjust and keep moving forward. Most importantly, happiness can’t be tied to how perfectly things are going. Think about it. Each time you stumble, you’re learning how to improve the situation. Many of our most powerful and influential discoveries began with a major Stumble.
This Inc.com article https://www.inc.com/tim-donnelly/brilliant-failures/9-inventions-made-by-mistake.html uncovers that everything from penicillin to post-it notes were invented via stumbles. The power of the stumble — Post it Notes? What would we do without them?
Here’s an example of a stumble in St. Louis that led to one of the city’s favorite desserts. Legend has it that a German baker in the 1930s miscalculated his measurements when putting together the ingredients for a coffee cake. The result was a gooey, buttery mess. Did he throw away the creation and leave the bakery with his head held low in shame? No. Just the opposite. He stumbled upon a rainbow at the end of his baker storm. He sold the cakes and they were such a hit that he kept making them this way and now the gooey butter cake is a treasured St.Louis creation. I certainly savored this sweet treat back in my sugar-obsessed days.
Stumbling, therefore, is all in your perspective. Do you view a bump in the road as a stopping point, a chance to point the finger of blame or simply a chance to detour? You might feel like a victim but guess what? The exciting news is that YOU are in control. That’s huge!! You can’t always predict your stumbles, but you can learn from them and keep going armed with something you CAN control — a joyful outlook. The next time you’re feeling stuck in the middle of health challenges, disappointment, mistake, embarrassment or hurt feelings will you get stuck or plan a new path?
When you believe and look for the rainbow, it will appear. It may be hard to see at the time, but I promise it’s there.