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Life and Religion

Get up when life knocks you down
Sharing the secrets of resilient people
Published Monday, April 14, 2014
by Shawn Anderson

It's inevitable that at one time or another life will punch us hard in the gut and knock us down. No one is immune to experiencing tragedy or failure.

When it's your turn to feel life's stomach blow, how will you handle it? Will you go “the extra mile” and passionately keep on living? Or will you just give up and go through the motions?

As a motivational author and speaker, I have met and interviewed hundreds of people who have experienced tragedy, loss and failure. I’ve learned that those who are able to positively transition through life’s toughest moments usually have the following seven traits in common:

1. They don't quit on life.

Tragedy might occur, huge mistakes are often made, but the world continues. People who have walked successfully over life's hot-coal moments always keep going. They never quit living no matter what happens.

2. They live day-by-day.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the 'What am I going to do now?' feeling, but extra-mile people focus on the now. They don't let thoughts of how they're going to deal with tomorrow defeat them.

3. They find support.

By forging relationships with positive and forward-thinking people, survivors trigger positive energy to flow back into their lives.

4. They get involved again.

Extra-mile people transcend life's tragedies by not choosing isolation when life knocks them down. It's easy to want to hide in a cave after something bad happens, but the longer we stay in the cave, the more challenging it becomes to leave.

5. They remain optimistic.

Extra-mile people support themselves with their own words and actions. They don't let negative self-talk rule their brains, and they make sure not to surrender to negative, self-defeating emotions.

6. They trust their faith and look for a higher purpose in their loss.

Extra-mile people believe that there is a stronger power at work in the world. Having faith in a higher power (and yourself) works miracles in overcoming bad events.

7. They seek to add value to the world.

People who have weathered a storm in life often recognize the opportunity to re-evaluate their own contribution to the world. They view misfortunate events not as a forever defeat, but rather as an igniting spark to do something meaningful. And there’s no time better than the present to get started.

About the author: Shawn Anderson is a motivational speaker and the author of six motivational books, including “A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose.”  He is also the founder of the Extra Mile America organization, which led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as "Extra Mile Day"... a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change in ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we "go the extra mile."


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