Hard Times Are Life’s Opportunity To Take Off And Fly Into Your Potential

How do you unlock potential_Be driven with your purpose. Pursue your purposeBe relentless in your alignmentIsn’t funny how you will look at someone as being “the overnight success” story.  There is no such thing as the overnight success.  Every step that we take in bringing our dreams into reality has a price.  People don’t see the 10,000 hours you put in to become the master that you are today.  They don’t see the hours that you continue to put in to hone your gifts into the genius category.  What if instead of getting mad about someone’s cutting remarks, we stayed silent.  And to take it one step further, what if instead of crying about what they just said or did (which is what they want) you laughed out loud about it?  What if you said, “if you hate this, just wait – I have more achievements that you can be mad about coming.”  And my personal favorite, “If you don’t like me and still watch everything I do, you’re not my haters, you’re my fans.”

Silence your critics.

Ignore your haters.

Delete your cynics.

 – Robin Sharma

The sad thing is that we listen to the critics at all.  We can have 10 people come up and gush all over us, how wonderful we are, so inspiring.  And then one person finds something negative to say about us, usually personal and not having anything to do with the job we do, and that is all we think about.  What if we turned it around?  Instead of taking it personally and getting wounded, what if we took it as a sign that we have something within us that needs to be released.  Thanking them, literally, because they just made you aware of some personal work that you need to do for yourself?  Just a little housecleaning to track down where that hurt you just felt is actually coming from.

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

 – African Proverb

I have always loved the quote from Theodore Roosevelt.  It puts everything into perspective, because most haters are not putting themselves out there to accomplish their dreams.  They become haters because the truth that you are living, shows up the lies they are telling themselves.  They become haters because every time one of us puts ourselves out there, it reflects to them that they aren’t fulfilling their own personal destiny.  Every time we get back up from the failures, and keep going until we win through, it is like a stake in their hearts because they are too afraid to fail and so they don’t take even the first step into the arena.  They know that they have a divine destiny, a life purpose.  Instead of listening and following their souls calling, they smother their heart when it cries out to them to walk into the arena and get dirty.

It is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

 – Theodore Roosevelt

So how do you unlock your own potential?  You get curious.  You look for open doors to walk through.  You go on adventures.  You read, watch and listen and then think, think, think.  You wonder what if? What could I just do next?  What happens when I?  Like Alice in Wonderland, each step down the path brought something new into her life.  She realized that every single day she was a totally new person; that nothing was impossible; and that all of us are just a little bit mad; and it is always tea time.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough”

    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Whenever I hear the word relentless, I think of a small child.  You know that age where they ask “why”?  Why is the sky blue?  Why do dogs bark and cats meow?  Why, why, why?  At first it is cute.  Then it drives you mad.  Children are great examples of being relentless when they want something.  How many times as parents have we said no, only to give in later because we can’t take it anymore?  But like a lot of excellent childlike qualities at some point most of us lose that quality of being relentless.  We stop asking because they will just say no.  We don’t ask because what if they say no and we put ourselves out there just to be shot down.  We don’t want to be annoying, or look foolish or be a failure, and . . . . .  so we make excuses.  We place the blame on others.  We start looking around for things that won’t be hard to do.

Why Do I Succeed?

I am willing to do the things you are not

I will fight against the odds

I will sacrifice

I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt

I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride

If I fall – I will get up

If I am beaten – I will return

I will never stop getting better

I will  never give up – ever

That Is Why I Succeed


Find a purpose in life so big, that it challenges every belief you have.  That it challenges you to do things and try things that never occurred to you before.  Instead of following the crowd, break out and find your own path.  Change the way you think.  Your story gives you so many clues to your life purpose.  Your dreams are like sign posts pointing you in the direction to go forward and bring them into reality.  Your souls voice is you refusing to be quiet and invisible.  We can’t know your story until you tell it.  Whether that is from speaking, writing, acting, dancing, singing – whatever form it takes, it must be told.  Your story isn’t about being a victim, it isn’t about the tragedy that happened.  Your story is about how you overcame “all that stuff”, and how you took life’s lemons and made the best lemonade in town.

I recently read an article about a 10 year old boy in Texas who likes to invent things.  In his neighborhood, there had been a baby left in a vehicle in the summer that had died.  It really affected him.  Now he wasn’t like most of us, saying how could someone forget their child in the car.  He wasn’t thinking that they should go to jail.  What he was thinking was what could I invent so that when someone makes a tragic mistake, it doesn’t have to result in the death of a baby?  So he now has a patent pending for a little cooler that looks like a giant lego, that will turn on when the heat gets too high and the car seat is occupied by a child.  By cooling the baby, it makes time for the parent to remember they left the child in the car and rescue them.  What struck me about this story is that this totally preventable situation has been happening for years and it never occurred to millions of adults to create some sort of mechanism in the car seat to cool the child and buy enough time for the child to be rescued.  How many other opportunities are there out there for some great thinking outside the box that will save lives? 

How big is your purpose?


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Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.