What in This Life is Promised (BLOG #6)

What in this life is promised? According to Kanye West, the answer would be

“nothing but death”. But is that true? I often get random ideas or think of random quotes and have a habit of writing many of them down. I write notes in one of the dozen notepads I have on the go and the first line of this blog was a random note I had previously written down. I searched for “what in this life is promised” and that is when I found Kanye’s quote. At first, I thought I agreed with him. But then I asked myself a question. If my boys were to ever ask me what was promised in life, I would want to have more than “nothing but death boys, we’re all going to die” as an answer. I thought of at least three things that I would promise them with 100% certainty.

If my boys ever ask me what was promised in life, the first thing I would promise them is failure. I promise that you will fail. Prepare them for something that we as adults know all about, if they have not faced it yet, they will soon. When they do face it, would you rather have them prepared to deal with and mange the failure that everyday life throws at us? Or, face them as a surprise and be unprepared. Failure will happen and if you are prepared for it you will place yourself in a position to learn from it quicker, so you can move forward. I have failed at many things throughout my life (so far…and many more to come), and for this I am grateful. As many have been known to say, you need failure to have success. More importantly, failure makes you stronger when (not if, but when) you get back up.

If my boys ever ask me what was promised in life, the second thing I would promise them without a doubt is that you are going to be rejected. People and this world will reject you. Failure and rejection are two different things. When I refer to failure, it is the failure that most times derives from an action taken or not taken by our self. Self inflicted failure. Rejection that I refer to here is when someone projects rejection towards us. Example, someone rejecting you as a friend, a work promotion, in team sports, relationships, etc. It is always a feeling that is triggered and initiated by someone else. You will fail. People will reject you…but wait, there is a silver lining when we get rejected. We can now shift that focus and energy to another area in life that is rewarding for us. If you do not have an area in life that is rewarding for you, then look for one. Check this out, in grade eight I finally mustered up the courage to try out for the basketball team. I was cut, and I am pretty sure it was after just one try out too. I felt rejected. Looking back, what did I do about it? Was I okay that I felt rejected? Of course I was okay…I mean, it would have been fun to make the team but the coach, Mr. J knew I was not skilled enough. He made the right call. The time I would have invested in basketball practices, games, and team events can now be allocated to another area in life. The example of my failure and feeling rejected playing together is a good one I like to often reflect upon. The memories of those days were great, and to this day I would still say Mr. J was one of my favorite teachers. Go out and get rejected. It happens to everyone, all the time. If you understand you will get rejected and bring yourself to a place where you can easily identify rejection, that allows you to quickly deal with it, learn and move on. Move on to your next adventure and allocate that “reject time” to your new idea, interest, hobby, etc. Rejection is a ticket of permission to move onto that next exciting chapter of your life. Embrace it. Embrace rejection.

If my boys ever ask me what was promised in life, the third and most important promise is this…I promise that no matter what life throws at you, no matter how much failure you experience, no matter how much rejection you face in life, you will always have our love. As cheesy as it may sound, knowing that you have someone that loves you, no matter what – helps you get by in those down times in life. Lose your job, we are there for you son. Broken heart? It is going to happen and guess what, when it does – we will be there for you then too, no matter what.

Failure and rejection are two words that many people may describe as being negative. Next time you fail or feel rejected, take a moment and think of someone in your life that loves you no matter what. Husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad…someone loves you. When you fail or feel rejected, go to that person and talk about it. Learn, move on and be stronger for it. When you get rejected, embrace it and use that time not to loath in rejection, but focus that energy into something you find rewarding. Turn it into something positive. Look to those closest to you and think, when was the last time your best friend failed at something? Did you talk to them about it? Did they reach out to you? If the answer is no, you can bet those closest to you have failed and/or felt rejected lately, be the person there for them…no matter what.

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