The Dream Is Still Alive

Today I want to talk about setbacks. Setbacks are a part of life and this is something we must understand. They are going to happen to all of us at one point or another. Sometimes a setback occurs alone, other times, they come in packs. Setbacks may present themselves without warning and other times, they may be foreshadowing, just waiting for the right time to strike. Setbacks can and probably will affect your life and the level of stress they may unleash is unpredictable. The problem with setbacks is that they are prone to set us back a specific amount of time. They may set us back a few days, weeks, months, or in some cases, years. In short, a setback can be a zero or it can be a ten.

What is scary about a setback is what they can potentially do to one’s peace of mind. Some will approach them head on and knock down any obstacle that gets in their way. Others, not so much, and this is what must be addressed. Some will see their potential setback as an opportunity and do all they can in their power to break down the barrier. And unfortunately, others completely throw in the towel on their goals and we all know those who have done just that. We know of those who will ramble on and on about their past and how they were once this or once that at one time or another, only to succumb to something that blocked them from capturing their ambitions.

Today, we need to identify when a setback occurs and what we can do in order to conquer any kind of obstacle that gets in the way of our goals. Setbacks occur for a variety of reasons and their causes are infinite. Some will say their setback is simply ‘life getting in the way’ while others allow one event to completely reroute their entire future. Imagine that, one thing being the cause of a bleaker future after one may have worked tooth and nail to get to where they were before that setback occurred. My first bit of advice is that we should never, ever allow one thing to redefine us no matter what it is. We can bounce back from anything no matter what and that must be understood. As long as we are still living, we have that potential in us.

So allow me to be hypothetical: someone is working hard toward a fitness goal and is suddenly sidetracked. Let’s say this person is married with two kids and finds out they are laid off from work. That is going to change things but only for a certain amount of time. If this person is halfway to their goal and this occurs, why are they going to just throw in the towel? Look, this setback may be an opportunity for something better, something great. It may simply be a blessing in disguise. Let’s say this individual was really into the gym and had been going at it for a year after taking twenty years off from any kind of fitness regimen and say this man’s wife joined him in his workouts two months ago. What can be done? Remember, he just got laid off.

Okay, so he obviously developed (or rediscovered) his passion for fitness. Maybe his old job was full of people who lived rather unhealthy lifestyles. Maybe they were sedentary outside the job, ate poorly, drank regularly, and partied hard on weekends. In no way, shape, or form did his former co-workers live the man’s lifestyle. Worse yet, maybe they poked fun at him for bettering himself, making positive changes, and becoming a better role model for his kids. Seriously, this is America in 2016, people will make fun of and hate on the success of others if they don’t  see themselves as being capable of achieving such milestones.

Even if this job was a good paying job, it was a blessing in disguise that was simply helping the man get out of this situation. But now he has no source of income other than his wife’s $40,000 salary. If the man made $80,000 per year and is now making nothing, the family’s income is drastically cut. He now has to begin budgeting and he fears the gym may be part of budget cuts.

Let’s stop right there and ask why that may be so. He worked so hard the past year to get to where he was and he was positive enough for his wife to join as well. That’s huge, because for the past eight weeks he now had a training partner, the best training partner one can ask for and yes, I apologize if my Mr. Conservative side is showing right now. They both love the gym and now it might have to go because they have to pay for bills, expenses, finances, and for their two kids who are both involved in numerous activities. Yet the gym, something they found success in, must go?

It’s like Coach Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend.” This newly unemployed man has an opportunity, not a setback, and this is what my article is going to say. Remember when I said we need to identify setbacks. Setbacks don’t exist, opportunity exists. Blessings in disguise exists. The old theory of everything happening for a reason, and good reason, is hard at work. Setbacks don’t exist, opportunity exists.

The man has an opportunity, and the opportunity is right in front of him and yet he doesn’t quite see it because he’s so clouded in negativity and in the negativity of others (America in 2016, people) that he can’t see the opportunity right in front of him. He has many opportunities. For one, if the man oversaw a good deal of people, he has management experience. He has sound work experience, and up to this point he has been very successful in his endeavors. And he found a passion in fitness. This man can get certified to be a personal trainer, he would probably get hired tomorrow if a gym needed a sales manager, and in some cases, he could do both. In addition, if he and his wife have bright minds they could start their own training business and do what they love. This isn’t the end, this is a new beginning and that’s what setbacks are, they are new beginnings.

As the old saying goes, “When one door closes another one opens.” This is true, very true, and what’s even better is that the dream doesn’t have to end. I could lose my job tomorrow and is the dream over? Of course not! Sure, a chapter in my life would have ended but I only have to turn the page to see what’s next and chances are, something bigger and better is right around the curb. You need to turn your page in the story of your life if you want to see what’s next and you won’t be disappointed.

We need to start thinking positive and when I mean start thinking that way I mean doing so all the time. I’m a fan of the Cleveland Browns and they have been terrible since 1999 but all of these setbacks have been opportunities. There has always been hope in Cleveland no matter how bad the situation gets. Look at 2016 and a man named Robert Griffin III. He flamed out in Washington and they released him after the 2015 season. Now he has a new hope, a new opportunity, in Cleveland. He didn’t experience a setback, he experienced an opportunity where he can lead one of the NFL’s most doormat franchises back to the glory they saw back in the 1960’s. Robert Griffin III has an OPPORTUNITY to do something neither Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe, Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, or Johnny Manziel have been able to do. Griffin’s past three years haven’t been of futility, they have simply set the stage for him to possibly do something great, and so does every single so-called setback.

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