Posted by Tony Parziale on Aug 01, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians & friends,

How many times in life do we seem to get pulled back, or meet with a disaster and some unexpected problems?  Most successful people have had to endure set-backs and disappointments. It seems that no one is immune from challenging times.

Usually at those moments of crisis, there’s pain and discomfort. Things can happen. …And as they say… That’s life! Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. The good news is that during those difficult times, there is usually growth, accomplishment and breakthroughs.  Virtually every great event, invention, milestone and great victory that has happened throughout history, has happened as a result of someone rising up from a defeat to overcome a difficult situation.
A few years back, one of my adult children was going through a tough period of time. In talking with her, she was comparing herself to an arrow. She said, “No matter how far I get pulled back, my direction is forward.” As soon as she said that, I knew that she was going to be okay. It’s become one of my favorite metaphors.
At times of trouble and challenge, I think that it’s important to lean on the right words and to find the right wisdom. It helps us to get through those difficult moments in our lives. It can help us define who we are. It can also help us to make the adjustments needed to succeed as we move forward in life. We become more.  The truth is that you find out who you are in moments of crisis. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy those relaxing times where you’re just having fun. But the fact of the matter is that ease does not breed greatness. Challenge does.
Who would you be at any given moment in time? Because we can be who we decide to be. We all have the ability to move forward and soar. We can get up off of the deck when we get knocked down and rise. We can be like the Japanese proverb that says, “Fall down seven times and get up eight.”
Each challenge equips us for our next challenge. It enhances our capacity to do more and to become more. It expands our bandwidth so that we can do more for others as well as ourselves.  Isn’t that what we all want…? To be better tomorrow, than we were yesterday. To share the wisdom that we’ve gained and to help those who are coming up behind us. That’s why we move forward (like an arrow), so that at the end of our journey, we’ve become the best person that we could be!
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale