Moving Through the Valley – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, June 23, 2022

“Good luck in this next chapter of life.”

We hear that and we say that many times throughout our lives. Whether it is starting or finishing an educational pursuit, a new career path, marriage, children, retirement, etc. There is always a tremendous amount of excitement when we journey off into a new chapter of life. The reality for all of us is that inevitably we will hit a few “bumps in the road” as we make our way into this next chapter.

No next chapter in our lives goes totally smooth. For most of us, if we are brutally honest with ourselves, these “bumps” can become significant challenges and at some point, the once exciting path in this next chapter of life has turned into a dark valley. Often times with some self-reflection, we can figure out how we got into this valley. However, there will be other times where we can just simply shrug our shoulders and conclude “it is what it is.”

With today’s easy, point and click access to ideas and methods from some of the best thinkers on the planet, we have a tendency to search for the latest feel-good idea or new solution to address our present challenge. We may find some helpful ideas to kick start us into gear to deal with the valley we are in, but shiny new ideas have a tendency to lose their luster when the real work begins.

In trying to navigate our way through a dark valley in one of the many next chapters of life, there are a few simple truths that can help sustain our progress to see a brighter day:

  • Simply start moving with a few small steps of change. We don’t need some massive re-direction, but just some small steps to get moving. Perhaps just changing a consistent wake up time or bed time routine, or time for casual walk, or just keeping the smart phone out of reach when sharing meals with others. Some consistent small steps of intentional change that can help us to start moving in a better direction than simply sitting in darkness will help bring about some needed energy.
  • Avoid expending a great deal of energy on assigning blame to someone else for our situation. Yes, there are probably a host of contributing factors to how we arrived in this dark valley, but all we can control is our response to where we are today, so limit the energy spent on blaming others or staying angry at others. Redirect as much as possible of that negative energy into the small steps of change noted in point #1.

As we remain committed to making a positive impact in our home, work, and community, we will enter some dark valleys in our journey. If we can guide our efforts on some simple, timeless truths as opposed to searching for some new “easy button,” we will be most effective in reaching our hopes and dreams. In addition, as we take these steps, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and we will set a helpful example for others that Character Creates Opportunity to reach our full potential and make a positive impact on those around us.

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