Life’s A Bitch And Then You Die?
For the umpteenth time I heard someone utter the phrase: “Life’s a bitch and then you die”. Not exactly an optimistic motto to live by. Yeah I know, I can hear my cynical friends saying, “but it’s true Jeff!” I would be lying if I said that thought never crossed my mind. However, like beauty, “truth” can sometimes be in the eye of the beholder. I think it has to do with perspective.
And if by “bitch”, you mean hard. Yes, life can be hard and unfair. Things don’t always turn out how we want them too. But life also provides opportunities, challenges, rewards, and times when things do turn out well. We have a choice of which lens we choose to view life through. Which in turn effects our attitude and actions. Which in turn effects outcomes.
We can spend so much time pining over what we don’t have, what we’ve lost, and what we cannot control, that we lose sight of what we can. Most importantly:
Our work ethic.
Here’s another saying about life: It is a journey. A friend of mine’s mother, who was also a therapist, once encouraged me to realize the journey is the destination. Intellectually I understood it immediately, emotionally it took me some time to internalize it.
A person can resign from hardship, or view it as a learning opportunity. For example, a martial arts instructor of mine once said to the class,when you lose in a tournament, you should send your opponent a thank note because theoretically that is one less way you should ever lose again.
A Buddhist perspective talks about a man who never responded positively or negatively to what the rest of us would consider good or bad news. The reason was that he new he did not know what the result of the good or bad news would lead to. Good could come from the bad and vice versa.
Given the influence that perspective has on our attitude and effort, maybe instead of “life’s a bitch and then you die”, it should be, “when life’s a bitch, you get to decide”. How do you respond?
Arguably the greatest college football coach, Nick Saban, said:
One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.
I’m guessing life’s a bitch and then you die is not a motto Saban lives by.
One life hack that helps me when I feel like I’m in a hole due to a “failure”, is I do something that I would not have done otherwise. This helps me get over it and focus on what I can do to move forward. Which is cool because two more words that come to mind when I think about life are: it’s precious, and it’s a miracle!
See you in East Brunswick soon… That is where my journey… and my destination… Continues… What about yours?