Undeserved Pain vs. Unearned Blessings

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I once had a guy tell me that the first thing he did in the morning was to look at a little statue he had on his nightstand that bobbed back and forth.  If it was leaning to the right, he knew he was going to have a good day.  If it was on the left, he’d have a bad day.

My first farmer thought was, “So why not just Krazy Glue it so it always leans to the right?”

You choose your attitude.  But…

Still, this week I felt a bit sorry for myself, because I have something going on in my life that causes me pain that I feel like I don’t deserve.  It’s not my fault, but I still have to live with it.  You do too, right?  That sucks, and like the lean-to-the-left statue, it’s a great way to start your week out on a bad note.

Underserved pain.  You’re not the cause of it, but there it is.

So I was driving into Vancouver, and the thought occurred to me that, while I have undeserved pain, I also have unearned blessings; things that I have in my life that I benefit from that I’ve done nothing to earn.  So I decided to make a list, right there in my car, and thank God for each one.  Here was my list in part:

  • Grandparents who emigrated to Canada
  • Living in a merit based system where I can be rewarded for effort
  • Health care which has saved the lives of my wife and at least one kid
  • Good nutrition
  • Great parents
  • An intact loving family
  • The lower mainland and its beauty
  • A healthy body
  • Great clients
  • Clean water
  • A couple of strong early bosses who challenged (and loved) me

I could go on and on.  And did.  That’s not a quarter of my list. It’s amazing how long the list gets when your mind is on neutral and you’re driving, and you really reflect on it.

So my tip for today is to make two lists; one of your undeserved pain, and the other of your unearned blessings.

See which one is longer, and start out your week on the right footing.

Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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