Graham called to tell me that my last two blogs have reminded him of his grandmother.
She passed away two years ago at the age of 93 and not a single days has passed that he has not remembered the enormous debt of gratitude he owes her for teaching him the most valuable and important lesson of his life.
He described his grandmother as being stoic – a person who remained silent and uncomplaining regardless of the obstacles life placed before her.
Life heaped challenge after challenge upon her and she resolutely dealt with each one.
Graham’s life altering lesson was taught to him shortly after his 23rd birthday.
He had been unceremoniously fired, from a job that he really enjoyed and which was helping him finance a lifestyle he had long sought.
He felt humiliated and devastated by the loss of his job. He knew it would be very difficult to replace the income he had just lost and he was panicked at the thought of not being able to maintain his car and loan payments.
In short, he was depressed
And then things got really bad. Two weeks after he was fired he was diagnosed with bone cancer and learned that he would lose his left leg below the knee.
And he transitioned from depression to absolute despair.
And that’s when Grandma Rose came calling.
She offered no sympathy for his plight. She told him to “snap out of it”, “deal with it” and “suck it up.”
She told him that no matter how sorry he felt for himself he would still remain unemployed and still have only one leg.
She told him he could wallow in self-pity or he could take charge of his life. She told him he could not grow a new leg but he could grow a life rich with fulfillment – the choice was his.
She told him she would love him forever and would “pity him for never.”
Graham said her words jolted him back to reality. He realized in that moment that life had dealt him two really crappy hands. They were not the hands he would have chosen but they were the hands he held and how he played them would determine how long and how well he stayed in the game.
Graham recently celebrated his 40th birthday. In the years since “grandma educated me” he has built a successful career, has a wonderful wife and three fabulous kids, is a competitive golfer and athree months ago received his black belt in tae kwon do.
He attributes much of his success to Grandma Rose. Not only did she teach him the importance of The Habit of Sucking It Up she also taught him, regardless of the situation, to take time and appreciate all you have to be grateful for.
After she told you she would love him forever and would “pity him for never” she spent time reminding him of how loved he was and how much support he had and how fortunate he was to live in a time when an illness this serious could be so easily diagnosed and how lucky he was to live in a you country where he could receive the finest treatment available and not be burdened by years of debt in order to pay for it.
Like many of us Graham has faced numerous challenges along the way and each time Grandma Rose’s voice has played in his head reminding him of The Habit of Sucking It Up.
Graham has “sucked up” many adversities and emerged stronger each time.
He will tell you that if you want radical, rapid and powerful change in your life then make The Habit of Sucking It Up an inseparable part of who you are.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
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