I don’t sign my email with a smiley face but I know a very well regarded Fortune 500 leader who does! By the time we reach middle management and above we are used to the grind and a bit cynical about making lemonade from lemons, and looking for rainbows and four leaf clover. I get it. But what do successful people do? Take Joe Scarlett, retired CEO of Tractor Supply, who believes in sharing a smile every time he communicates. It sends the message to take time to enjoy the moment and that you are valued. Sometimes those simple measures can return high dividends. They did for Scarlett as he took Tractor Supply from $1 to 4 million in his tenure.
So, if you are not into the platitudes, I respect that. But I have one question–what is the alternative to looking at the bright side? Flowery words aside, we have two choices in life. We give in or we resolve to figure it out. We all face hardships and the only way to make them work for you instead of against you is to harness them. Use them to push forward to be better, stronger and wiser.
Some of you may have heard me say that I am thankful for my cancer (I am fine now, thanks!) but I learned so much. Most of what I learned was that you can’t take things for granted. Don’t assume you have another day coming to you. Find ways to fix what matters and ignore the rest. Stay focused on what counts and don’t let challenges limit you from achieving your goals. Just find another way.
Easy to say, right? Of course. But it isn’t as hard as you think if you are determined. These days, I count every blessing, try to take hardships gracefully and never give in to the temptation to stop trying to be better. Each day is a new opportunity. Use it wisely. Hitch up the harness to your hardship and get moving!