I’m sure most of us have heard the expression,
“Life’s a bed of roses.”
I don’t know if the person who said this meant that life’s all flowers, but roses do seem to sum it all up. I mean even roses come with thorns, and that’s a pretty good description of life, wouldn’t you agree?
It’s not pessimism, but realism to say roses come with thorns because that’s life, naked unashamed.
Sometimes there’s beauty even to be found in pain.
Consider how a rainbow usually comes out after the rain. I believe this is on purpose and for good a reason!
The rainbow gives us hope! It’s like an anchor. Something for us to look forward to after the storm has passed. You could even say that the rainbow gives us a vision for why we must endure the storm.
The mistake, however, is when we choose only to focus on the thorns rather than the rose.
Have you ever spent any amount of time around people who seem to only be able to see the negatives in life?
I have and it sucks, I mean it feels like all your energy is being sucked out of you, like they’re spirit vampires.
The truth is I’ve been there once in my life and it sucks to live that way.
Make no mistake it doesn’t happen by accident because the truth is we train ourselves to see this way.
It isn’t normal to live like that, and most people would agree, that it’s a pretty @#$&@ way to go through life. (Crappy in case you’re wondering) 😉
The good news, if we can train ourselves to only see the negatives in life, then we can equally retrain ourselves to see past those problems to find their solutions.
So let’s not dwell on the negatives because life’s so much more than the temporary discomfort we might feel from time to time.
The ideal mindset for us to have is a mindset that looks past the thorns and focuses on the roses at the top. Because that’s where our hope and strength can be found and it’s that hope that gets us through the thorny patches in our lives.
You can tell a lot about a person by just listening to them talk about the trials they’re facing. If they gravitate towards focusing only on the negatives, you probably want to maintain a safe distance, lest you get sucked into their black hole of despair and drowned in their misery.
Influence people for their greater good, ALWAYS, but remember there’s a reason why you don’t put bad apples into a basket full of good ones. Unless your intention is for them all to become rotten.
Another way to say it, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Or as someone else has said, “You’re the sum total of the 10 people you associate with most”. Or whatever number of friends you keep close to you. It’s not the number so much, but the quality of company you choose to keep that’s either influencing you for good or bad.
Quality produces quality while junk produces junk. When the quality of a product is compromised it’s no longer a quality product. There’s no exceptions to this life principal.
The truth is people influence, people.
This is an undeniable fact of life; however, the challenge for us is that influencing goes both ways, it’s bi in nature. People are either influencing people for good or for ill, they’re either doing this knowingly or unknowingly, but it’s happening nonetheless.
On a more serious note;
Depression’s a real bitch, she loves her whips and chains, and this isn’t a feel-good kind of pain I’m talking about either, believe me, been there done that and don’t care for that doom and gloom lifestyle.
Depression sucks and should be avoided, not embraced!
However, I do feel the thorns and acknowledge them, but mindfully and purposefully I choose to look past them, knowing that one day soon the rose will be mine and that prickly stem will be a dusty page in a history book that I’ve long forgotten.
Yet another side note;
This is also why having a vision is so important to have in life. Another word phrase often used in place of vision is having a ” desired outcome,” they basically mean and represent the same thing.
A goals purpose
Goals, on the other hand, are the steps you take to achieve your vision or desired outcome.
Think of goals like rungs on a ladder that enable you to climb the thorny stem to obtain your rose at the top.
Goals are good, but its the vision or desired outcome that’s most important.
Think of a vision or desired outcome in terms of a lighthouse. Your the ship sailing the stormy and foggy sea, you have your goals, of course, which is your sail and rudder, but to successfully reach the port to dock your ship you need and have to follow the light shining from the lighthouse which is your vision or outcome.
With having said that, our goals may need adjusting from time to time, like a sail on a ship because the vision/lighthouse is what ultimately guides us. It’s okay if some of our goals change because our desired outcome/vision is what we’re ultimately seeking to obtain.
The key is that you maintain a forward-thinking mentality by being flexible, you need to adapt to the changes in your environment, while not losing sight of your vision (desired outcome). That’s what creative problem solving looks like.
First the thorns;
- Life will inevitably bring us pain and discomfort.
- Life will even throw us an occasional curveball.
- Life will sometimes put up roadblocks.
- Life will sometimes drop mountains in front of us forcing us to either climb or walk around them.
- Life will even sometimes wipe out the road we’re walking on, causing us to have to backtrack and rethink another way to get to our destination.
Why having a vision matters;
For me, a vision looks like this, I can see it, touch it, taste it and smell it, the way to get there isn’t so clear because often the road stops at the edge of the forest. Now it’s time to blaze a trail where no one else has gone because you know there’s no other way forward, but if you are going to make your vision a reality. Upon arriving, you look back and begin to notice that you’re not the only one that had this same experience in life. Then it dawns on you, and you come to realize you were never alone in the journey and adventure because the same spirit that guided you guided all the others to their mountain peak.
Don’t just take my word for it, consider what others have said,
“If you don’t have a vision you’re going to be stuck in what you know. And the only thing you know is what you’ve already seen.” Iyanla Vanzant
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller (Mind you this is coming from a blind woman, and she rocked the world with her vision.)
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
Having the right perspective is paramount to your success!
The dark side of negativity is a lonely and miserable place to live, but only you can change your environment. Smell the roses while you still can because one day you’re going to breathe your last breath and never have a second chance to smell the roses again.
“Be careful where you make your bed because perspective can be the difference between being a prick on the stem of a rose bush, your whole life or the rose at the top smelling ever so beautiful, that everyone wants what you have.” Bradford Lee Mace
Life isn’t always a positive experience, but that’s a matter of one’s perspective which is precisely my point. To truly appreciate the positive you sometimes have to navigate the thorns of life. That means you might get pricked by a thorn or two and bleed as a result. Think about it, pick all the roses you want, but you’re bound to have your finger pierced along the way at some point.
Does that make the roses bad or evil?
Can you still enjoy the roses after you’ve been pricked by the thorns?
Because, you know, having been taught by experience the roses are still worth picking, despite the thorns. Not only that, but you’re going to appreciate them even more because of the pain you had to endure to get them.
I don’t know about you, but I want the rose!
My dear reader, you’re going to experience some discomfort and pain because the road isn’t easy, at least not all the time, however, what waits for you on the other side is worth every drop of sweat, blood, and tears you’ve shed along the way. But oh that day when your vision becomes your present reality! Do I really need to say any more?
Let’s cross that finish line and receive our prize!
Final thoughts, because life wouldn’t be the same without them.
Just think about,
Bradford Lee Mace