Slinkard On Success – Just Keep Smiling

Sometimes in life, the only thing you can do is smile. Maybe you’re ready to eat at a restaurant only to find out the establishment has run out of the food you wanted. Or maybe the flight you rushed for was delayed by nearly 3 hours. Better yet, the hotel you had booked had a major pipe burst, and your room was no longer available. Possibly, you find out the news that your dog (more like a child), ruptured a disc in his back and would be paralyzed for the remainder of his life.

We have all been there when it seems like Murphy’s Law is becoming a way of life. The above-mentioned events all happened to me in the course of forty-eight hours. Talk about trying my patience! I was beyond frustrated and found myself ready to crawl back in bed, slide under the blankets, and pull them snug above my head. I have faced adversity in my life and I always seemed to handle it nonchalantly. Yet, here I was being beaten up with life, one event after another. This thing called being an “adult” was no fun for me.

I found myself being out-of-balance with life and my positive “can do” attitude was suddenly facing the test of tests. Then it happened. I met a lady who told me she was having a bad day as she found out that her uncle was suffering from cancer. It didn’t stop there, though, as she went on to tell me that her dad and her mom were also afflicted with the disease.

That stopped me in my tracks. The pity party I had already begun throwing myself suddenly meant nothing as this lady had more things to be worried about than I did. She said one thing that really resonated with me and that was, “Sometimes in life, the only thing you can do is smile.” I felt horrible for the situation she currently faces, and I felt even worse that I actually felt sorry for myself.

What we can learn from this story is that when we think we have it tough, there will always be someone else out there who has it tougher than we do. Sometimes people give up because they think there are no other options to life and they feel they are at their wits end. Truth be told, though, we should use the story above to energize us to face life’s obstacles in stride.

There’s a quote out there that says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, because it’s all small stuff.” I cannot help but nod my head in agreement as I write this article. In the world of business, when we face that uphill battle we must realize that it’s not over until it’s over. Each day we must press forward and maintain the positive approach to our everyday lives. We must maintain a positive outlook even when the events unfolding around us suggest otherwise.

If you find yourself facing struggles in life, just know that someone else has it tougher than you do. What you take from this knowledge is that someone who was in a similar situation as you has also been able to persevere. Whether life is good or bad is a matter of opinion. Sometimes, being tested in life is a good thing because we are able to see how far we can go by how far we have been.

Instead of focusing in on the negatives, we need to bring the positive highlights to the forefront. We need to find the best in situations as opposed to looking at what has gone wrong. When we do, we are able to realize just how lucky we are. In fact, the things we take for granted are sometimes the very things that others set their life’s goals and dreams upon. We must count our blessings and strive to be better tomorrow than we were today.

There will always be times we feel the pressures of life, but what matters most is how we respond. We can either throw the pity party for ourselves and have others feel bad for us, or we can take the approach of the lady mentioned above and look at life and just smile. Good times, bad times, no matter the season we are in, we must realize that “Sometimes in life the only thing you can do is smile.”
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store