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People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.

-George Bernard Shaw 


Fifteen years ago I left my job with no immediate plans for the future, I just knew there were things I wanted that my current job would never bring. In addition to that,  it was not good for my health because it demanded so much from me mentally and physically. It wasn’t good for my family because it took up huge junks of my time, I was leaving at the break of dawn and coming home just in time to feed my daughters and put them off to bed. I was missing the days of spending quality time with them, I had begun to miss those enjoyable days of spending time on the beach or just sitting in my mother’s back yard watching the coconut trees dance in the cool breeze. The experience of failure, adversity or heartbreak brings no excitement to our lives. There are no benefits to only dreaming about moments of joy that are stolen by a job that brought no real value to your life. So I moved on.


Despite my spur of the moment departure and the many uncertainties it brought. It took a major paradigm shift to help me recognise the opportunities leaving that job brought, my needs and necessities forced me out of my comfort zone. A dwindling bank account and two children to support really helps build motivation. With that motivation, I was inspired by my desire to move past my current situation. At different points of your life, you will realise that you simply cannot look at your present situation or remain focused on your current challenges and expect those situations to change. You have to open your mind to new possibilities, it is these possibilities that will guide you to seeds of greater benefits. Napoleon Hill said it best when he said,  “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. “


 Looking back on that period of my life,  even with all the ups, downs, closed-door, heartaches, uncertainties, there’s nothing I would do differently. Those experiences forced me to stretch myself in ways I never knew imaginable. Not in the way I was stretching myself in my former job, performing to keep customers and owners happy. But really stretching myself to invent a stronger and better version of myself, a version that knew what I wanted, with a determination to get what I needed without fear of failure. Sometimes when the world seems to be against us it really isn’t, it’s simply giving us a nudge forward. It’s your decision what to do next.


As mentioned in a previous blog, you have to choose your struggle. Decide for yourself what circumstances you desire. Even in the midst of the pandemic, there were people out the starting business, changing jobs, leaving jobs that no longer served a purpose in their lives. Many people I worked with both here in Scotland and at home who said just a few years ago they could not retire because of financial obligations or that they could not see themselves doing nothing for the rest of their lives, have left those jobs that they placed so much value on a few short years ago. You have to be inspired by your desire of wanting more, more time with family, more time doing the things you love and more time for YOU!  If this pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has taught us the value of our time.  At the end of our journey here, how you spent your time, will be all that matters.

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©Etta  D. Richards

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