Do you learn from bad experiences, or use them as an excuse?

Dear Guaranty Team:

I was thinking the other day about bad things. Most specifically how bad things happen to people. I was having lunch with an acquaintance yesterday, and we touched on the subject of our prior marriages. It got me to thinking about my divorce from my first wife. At that time, and to this day, that is the single worst period I have ever gone through. I can still vividly remember the feelings and heartache, anger, fear, all the emotions that come over all of us when we are faced with bad things in our lives. During that time a friend suggested I take a class to help me cope with my feelings, the class was called “Life After Divorce”. I don’t remember much if anything about the specific contents about what we attempted to learn, but I do remember very clearly some of the people I met in that class. We were all in the same condition, but we all were dealing with this in our own ways.

I saw people who were angry, sorrowful, some in complete denial about what was going on but all of us pretty much fell into two distinct groups. There were those who understood that although these conditions were not what we wanted, it represented an opportunity to learn, grow, and come out of the experience a better or at least a different person. It was an opportunity to continue forward. There were also those of us who were going to take this time and event and use it as an excuse for every failure they were committed to having for the rest of their lives. Even if they lived to be a hundred, they now had all the reason they were ever going to need for whatever happened next.

I work with people every day in this dealership who have had to face hard times, some unbelievably so, and people always fall into those two responses, those who come out the other side, and those who never do. In just about everyone’s life, bad things happen to us, but if we choose, we can come out better, what will you do?


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