Getting Back on Track

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Congratulations Rhett!

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Rich Allen Sr. 1935-2013

Sometimes life throws us curve balls. And sometimes those curve balls totally throw us off our game. They take our focus off our business and bring us down – sometimes even to the edge of depression.

These curve balls are not always negative events. They may be something very good, even great, but they are huge distractions and suck our time, energy and focus right away from us.

How do I know this? Because I’ve been living it these past 2 months!

Late Spring and Early Summer are great times if you’re a high school student – but not necessarily so for the parents. This year we had the honor of watching our son, Rhett, graduate from high school. A wonderful time in his and our lives. Full of excitement and anticipation along with loads of details, scheduled events, parties, gifts and final preparations for heading to college.

This was a particularly exciting time for us – but it left little time for working on the business. Many optional business plans were shelved for a couple of months while we focused our time on our new graduate.

Then, to make things even more challenging, my father unexpectedly had a stroke that left him in the hospital ICU for 2 weeks. Sadly, he never recovered and passed away just last week.

Being from a large family (12 children) in Ohio, it meant dropping everything and spending time in Ohio working through the details of a funeral, the emotions of multiple siblings, and the realization that my hero, my Dad, was gone.

Needless to say, I have been thrown a hard curve ball these past couple of months! I’ve been knocked off my game and have been totally distracted by more important personal matters. The business has taken a back seat – or perhaps better said, it got kicked off the bus!

My story is no different than yours. You may have had different events happen in your life, but I am sure that they were just as significant to you as mine were to me. We all have to deal with these unexpected changes in our lives – our very own curve balls.

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, praying, reading and pondering over these past several weeks. I’ve been observing others who are going through similar challenges – dealing with similar curve balls. And it has become very clear to me that there are two uniquely different paths you can go down when the curve ball comes your way.

One option is to get totally stuck in the moment, unable to move, unwilling to look beyond your current reality. You fall deeper and deeper into a depression and the little voice in your heads says to you “it was not meant to be” and you give up on your future, your dreams and your hopeful possibilities.

Another option is to deal head-on with your current reality, focus on the situation at hand, do the things necessary to get through the tough times, then begin to formulate your plan on how you are going to “Get Back on Track”.

These curve balls have the power to bring us to our knees – literally. They can stop us in our tracks and make us wonder “why bother”. But it does no one any good for you to stay down.

I’ve noticed that those who stay down just suck more of the life out of those who try to move on. They are like anchors on your ship. They look for others who want to stay down with them and they begin building a web, a group, a network of the forever sad.

When this happens to you – and it will if it hasn’t already – be sure to do the following things to help you “Get Back on Track”:

1) Take the time to grieve. Don’t try to avoid it. Be present and in the moment. Let your emotions out. It is part of the healing process.

2) Don’t cling too tightly. Whether it’s losing a loved one or releasing a young one to their next exciting adventure, you’ve got to let them go. The release is important.

3) Be thankful for what you have. Look for the silver linings. Focus on the positives and the negatives will appear much less important.

4) Take time for yourself. Don’t consume yourself with others at the expense of yourself. These big life-changing events take a toll on you and you need time to recover – alone.

5) Find your positive support. Don’t get trapped hanging with downers. Find those who will help you recover and refresh.

6) Make a plan to get back in the game. Take time if you need it, but set a date to get back to your normal routine.

7) Look for your next great adventure or your next big challenge. Nothing helps clear your head of the muck and distraction than setting a new goal in front of you – and then starting to go for it!

Today marks my “Get Back on Track” day. I’ve had time to process through and now it’s time to get back in the game. I hope this has been helpful for you. It has been helpful for me just to think it through and begin taking forward steps.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to share them so others can benefit.

Here’s to you Getting Back on Track!

Ride Hard!