What Happens is Irrelevant

by Michael Simmons on Jul 31, 2009

I just got off the phone with a young entrepreneur I went to NYU with who took a company to $4 million in revenue and then had to file for personal and business bankruptcy this month. During his talk on the tour, he said that he has never been better, and I believed him.

The changes and struggles he has gone through have helped him find his purpose, and he is now looking into how he can make a large positive difference in the world through a social entrepreneurship endeavor.

Feeling pain is not fun, but hitting bottom is actually a HUGE opportunity to make changes in your life that you would never have otherwise. When you feel that you are naked and have nothing to lose, a new level of freedom appears.

It is our decision on how we want to use pain! It can be a catalyst or an excuse. It is 100% our decision.

When I look back at more core beliefs, all of them were shaped by my biggest challenges. For example, my father died when I was 8 years old from lung cancer. He was 33, 6 years old than I am now!!! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my own mortality, and the need to live life NOW. This is my gift.

If you agree with me that “negative” events can always be transformed into catalysts for growth, then what happens to you in life is irrelevant.

So, stop worrying.

Be grateful for every moment.

Have faith that every challenge has within it the seed for equal or getter benefit (see Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill).

And pray for the courage and strength to rise up to every single moment of life, and if you don’t that you will learn from your mistakes (my definition of success).


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…