Motivational author and speaker, Shawn Anderson, has interviewed hundreds of people who have experienced tragedy, failure and disappointment. He’s also been witness to many who have walked through their toughest moments only to make it to the other side with an increased passion and purpose for living.
“It’s inevitable that at one time or another life will punch us hard in the gut; no one is immune to experiencing tragedy or failure,” Anderson says. “But when it’s our turn to feel life’s stomach blow, how will we handle it? Will we passionately keep on living, or will we just give up and go through the motions?”
In his interviews, Anderson learned that the people who transition positively through life’s toughest moments practice at least one of these seven regrouping strategies.
1. They don’t quit on life. “Tragedy might have happened, huge mistakes might have been made, but the world continues. People who have walked successfully over life’s hot-coal moments always keep going. They never quit living,” Anderson shares.
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,” Anderson says.
3. They find support. “By forging relationships with positive, move-forward type people, survivors trigger positive energy to flow back into their lives,” Anderson points out.
4. They get involved again. “Extra-mile people rise above life’s tragedies by not choosing isolation when life knocks them down,” Anderson shares. “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 is to ever leave it.”
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,” Anderson says.
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. Faith in a higher power…and yourself…works miracles in overcoming bad events,” Anderson quotes.
7. They seek to add value to the world. “People who have weathered a life storm recognize the opportunity to re-evaluate their own contribution to the world. They use their event not as a forever defeat, but rather as an igniting spark to do something meaningful,” Anderson says.
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, Anderson is not only committed to support others in overcoming life’s toughest moments, he is also a leading voice on “going the extra mile” in order to maximize potential and contribution. This year, his Extra Mile America organization led 551 cities to declare 11/1/15 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.”
“When something bad happens, we have the choice to either throw our hands in the air and give up or ‘go the extra mile’ and keep giving life our best effort. When we achieve that extra-mile distinction, we change our destiny.”
Los Angeles, CA