Dare To Live Without Limits

Bryan Golden

Setbacks don’t always have to be roadblocks

Your journey on the road thorough life is not always smooth. There are potholes, obstacles, breakdowns, traffic, bad drivers, detours, wrong turns, and fender benders. Sometimes you even get lost and have to ask for directions. Just like any automobile trip, you keep going in spite of what you encounter.
You slow down when you go through a pothole. You maneuver around obstacles. Mechanical breakdowns get fixed. Traffic may delay you but you still arrive at your destination. You anticipate and watch for bad drivers. If you take a wrong turn, you get back on course. Fender benders are repaired.
As you drive, you get lots of experience with setbacks that make your trip less than perfect. When unexpected circumstances are encountered, you don't abandon your car, sit down in the road and declare you are giving up because nothing's working.
Yet a surprising number of people will throw in the towel at the first setback encountered in other things they are attempting. This is a shame, because in so doing, these people miss out on many of the successes they could have if they simply got back on track and kept going.
On January 1, Henry resolved to lose 30 pounds by the end of June. Henry was confident he could drop 5 pounds a month with no problem. He was right on schedule. By the end of February, Henry had lost 10 pounds. He was pleased with his progress. Henry looked forward to a slimmer body for the start of the swimming season.
In March, Henry had two weddings to attend. By the end of March, Henry had gained back the 10 pounds he had lost in the previous two months. He was back to where he had started. Needless to say, Henry was disheartened. He felt as if all his dieting was for nothing.
What were Henry's options? He could abandon his diet and try again next year. Or he could get back on track. Henry had already proven to himself that he could lose five pounds a month. So if he started again in April, he could lose 15 pounds by July. Although it's below his original goal, Henry would still weigh less than he did at the start of the year.
Henry decided to resume his diet. He made more of an effort than before and wound up losing 20 pounds by July and had reached his goal of 30 pounds by September. If Henry had abandoned his plans because of his setback in March, he would have shortchanged himself.
Diane needed to get on a budget. Her credit card balances were up to $8,000. Diane decided to use cash for her spending until the credit cards were paid off. Her goal was to pay $400 per month towards the card balances. This plan would enable her to get rid of the debt in about two years; many years ahead of schedule were she to make only the minimum monthly payment.
Everything went fine for 18 months. Then Diane's car needed $1,500 in repairs. She had to charge the garage bill since she didn't have that much cash. Diane was undaunted. Even with the unexpected repair expense, she never failed to make her $400 monthly payment. It took her five months longer than she had originally planned, but she paid off all of the balances. Diane didn't allow an unplanned financial setback to derail her plans.
Setbacks happen. They are a normal part of life. Take them in stride. Deal with unplanned events as they arise. It's normal to feel frustrated. Just don't give up on your goals. As long as you persevere, you can and will achieve them.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2023 Bryan Golden


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