Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
A bit of a twist on the saying “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose”. Every time you lose, or fail, or do something wrong, there is an opportunity to learn. You learn to not do that activity that way again. You learn that that plan was not the plan you want to use next time. I think there is something to be taken away from every situation. Losing, failing, falling, doing it wrong. All these things happen but they also teach you something every time. I’ll share an example with you.
When I was travelling in Australia I had a work/holiday visa. I had travelled for 6 months and just got some work lined up to go for the next 6 months. Things were looking good. I had achieved my dream of going to Australia and travelling around the east coast and now I was about to check off another item from the “To-Do List” and work in Australia for 6 months. Then I got an email. My personal training certificate needed to be renewed by the end of March and in order to do that I had to renew my CPR training. So I started to look into getting my CPR renewed before I started work in Australia. Eventually I figured out that a CPR training was only good in the country it was taken in. In other words I had to go back to Canada to renew my Canadian CPR so I could keep my Canadian personal training certificate. After talking with my parents and going over scenarios in my head it was decided that I would go back to Canada, renew my CPR, and find a job there. I was super bummed out about it all. I mean it was one of my dreams to travel AND work in Australia but I knew I would need my personal training certificate after my Australian visa expired, so I bit the bullet and came home early.
Now you are probably thinking that really sucks. And honestly as I write this I am thinking that really sucks, but then I remember some things that happened when I got home. The main thing was that about two weeks after I got home my grandpa passed away. Now had I still been in Australia working I might not have even found out about it till weeks after as the area I was going to be working in was in the outback and had minimal cell and wifi service. So I would not have been at my grandpa’s funeral, and I would not have got to read his eulogy. Getting to read my grandpa’s life story at his funeral was a great honour for me. Especially when people that knew my grandpa very well came up to me after the service and said things like, “You did an awesome job”, “Your grandpa would be proud”, and “Your grandpa would have really liked that”.
So yeah maybe I missed out on 6 months of achieving a dream because I didn’t think ahead, but had I renewed my CPR when I went home in December I would have missed my grandpas funeral. And now next time I travel I will be sure to check that I do not have to renew or update anything while I am gone.
It happens all the time, to everyone. We lose, or things don’t go to plan. They come in all shapes, sizes, and have varying degrees of effect on our lives.
As I was writing this and rewriting it, and rewriting it again, and again, and 5 or 8 rewrites later I realized this wasn’t just about winning and learning, but also about coming to understand that things happen for a reason. Chances are they don’t make sense at first but in the end those wins, losses, hardships, and eventual successes, made you who you are today. Without every single one of those experiences you would not be the you you are today. Had my grandparents not passed away when they did, I would not have the same appreciation for life, and living it, that I do today. Had I taken a chance on a possible full-ride scholarship in the states I wouldn’t have got into the personal training field as soon as I did. There was a reason, or a lesson to learn from all of those experiences, from my grandparents passing away, and from me not going to university in the states.
I don’t know if there is one ultimate plan for each of us or how that all works but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Stuff doesn’t just happen so that it can happen. My grandparents didn’t die just because they did. I didn’t go to university in Canada just because that is how it happened. My trip to Australia didn’t get cut short just because I had bad luck. My brother didn’t get in his accident, and almost die, just because he had bad luck. My grandparents passed away and I learned that life is precious and I need to embrace it and live every day to it’s fullest. I went to university in Canada and ended up in an area of work that I find hard to call work because I enjoy it so much. My holiday in Australia got cut short so I could be at my grandpa’s funeral and so I could start my career as a personal trainer and learn from all my amazing co-workers and new friends at the gym. My brother was in a very horrific accident so that I could again learn to appreciate life even more, and so that I could see that determination pays off and gets you walking way before anyone thought you would.
Doesn’t the second version of those situations seem a bit more happy, and purposeful? Like I said earlier, things don’t always make sense at first but I have found that if I trust that eventually something good will happen or I will learn something from that experience it takes the sting out a bit. Sometimes it may take a few hours for it to sink in and for you to realize what the lesson was. Other times it may take months or years before you stop beating yourself up about not going to university in the states, and for you to finally realize that if you had gone you would not have this amazing job. Trust in the process, you will eventually pick up on the lesson or the reason. Sometimes you have to fall before you can achieve greatness.
Stay Positive and Go Get It!