making the most out of bad situations

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…

Great advice, but as most wise expressions go, they’re easy to say…not quite as easy to live.

And unfortunately, there’s just no way of getting around the lemons of life.

Even the luckiest of us run into trouble every now and then.

Problems are unavoidable, but what we do with them will determine just how far we’ll go in life.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been interested in people’s lives…partly because I wanted to know, partly because I wanted to learn.

Add in my profession as an English teacher and my background in psychology and success principles and you’ve got a guy who loves what he does.

I’m paid to listen to people’s experiences, whether in business or in life, and offer advice.

And believe me, over the years I’ve heard it all.

Everything from broken bones to broken hearts…people somehow feel comfortable discussing such things with me because of two reasons:

  1. I’ll give it to them straight
  2. I’ve experienced a lot in my own life
  3. I’ve traveled the world
  4. I can keep a secret

Here are just a few of the things I’ve had to help people with:

  • Failed business
  • Broken arm
  • Bad customers
  • Loss of $250,000
  • Surgery
  • Failed presentation
  • TV broken
  • Near-death experience
  • Relationship breakup
  • Failed college entrance tests

As you can tell, some were more devastating than others.

But the goal here is to make the most out of these life lemons so here’s how I spun things.

When it came to the failed business venture, I asked my client to list all the lessons they learned from the experience. The exercise was invaluable for my client as he was able to see just how much he had grown from the experience and despite losing in the vicinity of $25,000 he earned an honorary MBA from the school of hard knocks. It also helped him reevaluate his future plans and today is much happier on the path he has chosen.

A broken arm is nothing drastic and is a short-term problem, but it most definitely can be a pain. But speaking from experience I can say that I studied more and was in better shape as I was forced to walk everywhere. More lemonade viagra prezzo.

Bad customers are a fact of life. However, they do teach you valuable lessons and often give you insight into your own business that you overlooked. And there’s nothing like fixing a customer’s complaint to create a strong relationship. Out of bad customers can come new systems to minimize problems and all the while your negotiation techniques will be tested.

A loss of $250,000. This one was personal. Not me, but my father…and a devastating blow to us. I’m not sure how he recovered because I only learnt of it after his passing. However, what it did for me was that it made me realize I can’t rely on a financial advisor to protect my money. If a company worth $692 billion can go bankrupt (Lehman Brothers) then any business can.

Surgery can be scary. Especially the first time. The benefits (besides fixing whatever’s wrong) can be the push people need to change their eating habits, to get more exercise, to spend more time with their family, to cut back on work, to work harder…the list is endless.

It is said that people are more afraid of public speaking than death. I must admit it is scary to have all these eyeballs staring at you, judging your every word, looking for an excuse to leave…and often times our first presentations don’t go as well as we had imagined. At least, that was the case for me. However, knowing you failed can be the push you need to buckle down and never fail again.

What would we do without TV? Easy — more family interaction, more reading time, more creativity, more activities, more outside adventures.

A near death experience will make you question life itself. As Brendon Burchard says in his lectures, when he managed to pull himself from a wrecked car, he realized that sooner or later we always ask ourselves three questions:

  1. Did I live?
  2. Did I love?
  3. Did I matter?

In doing so, we take stock of our lives and are given the opportunity to do what we were meant to do.

Heartache is a tough one. It’s all inside and no matter how much you tell people there are other fish in the sea, they just don’t want to hear it. But as I have learned, when it comes to relationships, if it’s meant to be, it is.

Being single can teach you a lot about yourself and your dreams and most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to find someone better.

When we’re young, failure can hit you hard. Especially for many young men and women whose dream it is to attend a certain university. The mistake many students make is that they think a college makes you who you are…when it’s the opposite, you make the college.

You will only get out of it, what you put into it. And it doesn’t make a difference whether that’s at an Ivy League school or not.

The greatest thing about any school is not the name, it’s the friendships you make. Only you can determine your effort…just because a teacher tells you to study one book doesn’t mean you can’t read 50.

In every problem, there exists opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to grow, to achieve.

The only question is whether you’ll take the time to look for it.

Always keep in mind — Lemonade, lemonade, lemonade.

Adrian Shepherd

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