The Buck Stops Here

April 25, 2012

There was a time of my life, not too long ago, that I felt that I just couldn’t get anything going in the right direction. I wasn’t happy with the way things were, but I was discouraged and overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.

The getting things going in the right direction part was a slow and painful process. However, it greatly helped when I understood that success is not a destination, but a process.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way and am constantly reminding myself of (drawn from “The Travelers Gift” by Andy Andrews):

1. I accept the responsibility for past. No longer am I going to blame my problems on my parents, my wife, my former employer, or my business. Nor am I going to allow the ups and downs of everyday life affect my future negatively.

2. I will look forward for solutions. By doing this and not dwelling on the problems of the past, I will be able to creatively problem solve. Rather than getting discouraged by the disappointments of the past, I am going to optimistically look to the future.

3. When a decision needs to be made, I will make one. I understand that God did not give me the ability to always make the right decision. He did, however, give me the ability to make a decision and then make it right. – Andy Andrews

A prime example of taking too long to make a decision was deciding to quit my job.

4. Why not me? It so easy in the face of adversity to ask, “Why me?” Whenever I’m tempted to ask this question, I’m going to ask, “Why not me?” instead. Adversity leads to greatness. It’s a common thread throughout all of history.

It’s not been easy keeping these things in mind and there are many days I fail. However, when I fail, I draw a line in the sand and start again.

Question: How do you get things going in the right direction when it’s a struggle?

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  • Reply Michael Wright April 25, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Michael, honestly I’ve just learned it’s easier to embrace what I perceive as a struggle early on because putting something off that’s hard (a decision or action needed) puts a ton of emotional weight on me and bogs me down in other things, such that it makes the decision even tougher.

    I have still yet to ever read any of Andy Andrews books. I had the Traveler’s Gift in my home from the library, but never got past Chapter 2. I have to read that book. He is an amazing presenter.

    • Reply Michael Good April 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

      I like how you put it “what I ‘perceive’ as a struggle.” So true. I think struggles can be blessings in disguise. I too find that putting something off is more taxing and stressful than I first realize.

      Thanks for the input!

  • Reply Cindy Hirch April 25, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Michael – I have found that if I don’t focus on the whole of what is overwhelming me and just take one step at a time I’m able to work through the struggle. I totally agree that the longer we put off working through a struggle the harder it is to deal with. The small hill has not become a huge mountain that often tells us we get to the top.

    Great post!

    • Reply Michael Good April 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      One step at a time, Cindy. Good thinking!

    • Reply Claudia Good April 26, 2012 at 7:57 am

      This is something I think of too, Cindy. We just need to chip away little be little. It’s the consistency that pays off in the end.

      Good stuff!

  • Reply Ann J Musico April 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Michael those are really excellent steps to keep in mind in order to move in a positive direction. I think we all get stalled at times – and we get discouraged and feel overwhelmed. But wallowing in it is what causes problems. For me, having a nice long conversation with God and laying out what’s going on and asking for His guidance — and then waiting for it gets me moving in the right direction. And I am not passive while I wait – I pray, research, do some leg work. Also asking for my husband’s input is invaluable – he tends to look at things very differently than I do and that’s many times very helpful to me.

    • Reply Michael Good April 26, 2012 at 7:54 am

      That’s great that you and your husband compliment each other. I too am often amazed at what a different perspective can do.

      It sounds like your method is one of processing your thoughts through prayer and getting things out on paper. Those have been big for me as well. I like that you don’t use this as an excuse to be passive. Too often I feel like we can take this approach.

      Thanks for the input!

  • Reply Mike Purcell April 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I had one of those yesterday. My Odesk contractor decided to quit and walk away from my project. I think in the past I might have quit right along with them, but now with the same line of thinking as your post, I am pushing on. I found a better contractor the same day who will do it all for half the price. Life’s challenges are blessings most of the time.

    • Reply Michael Good April 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Mike, that sounds like a stressful time! However, that’s very cool that you ended up finding someone better.

      This is how it is with me and change. I resist it, sometimes with all I’ve got. But when I make a change, I find that I’m much better off for it.

      Thanks for the input!

    • Reply Claudia Good April 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

      That had the potential to be a deal breaker like you said. Glad you pushed through!

  • Reply Kent Julian April 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Fantastic post! E+R=O!!!!!

    • Reply Michael Good April 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Absolutely, Kent. It’s all about how we respond. I love your E+R=O philosophy!

      • Reply Kent Julian April 26, 2012 at 9:03 am

        Thanks Michael. E=R=O actually originated with W. Clement Stone. Additionally, Jack Canfield writes a lot about it (Stone was Canfield’s mentor). I’m just borrowing a great idea from two outstanding men.

  • Reply Ryan Ash April 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I keep hearing about this Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews, and I believe you’ve just convinced my that I need to read it. Great points!

    • Reply Michael Good April 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

      I highly recommend it, Ryan! I listened to the audio version which was great. Andy Andrews is a great storyteller and read the book so well.

      • Reply Ryan Ash May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

        Thanks for the official recommendation. I’ll pick it up soon.

  • Reply robclinton April 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    What a great post! It’s all about how we look and deal or respond to every given circumstance. I think drawing a line in the sand and starting over is an excellent practice. I see each day as a new day anyway. I try not to carry over worry and fear, though it does it bleed in sometimes. When things get to harry, I try to stop the world for a moment in my own mind, and then start again. We can start has many times as we want throughout our lives. After-all, every moment is brand new…

    • Reply Michael Good April 29, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Ah, you speak wisdom, Rob.

      That there, my friend, is a message of hope! The people who work with you are blessed to have such an intelligent coach!

      • Reply Rob Clinton April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        Thank brother… Let’s you and I, and many others keep spreading this great message!

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