It’s Not Personal – It’s Just Life

By Jay Forte, Author, Coach, Educator

I used to believe that good things happen to good people and, therefore, that the converse was also true. What I have grown to believe over time is that you create your happiness (or angst and pain) in each moment, regardless of what the world and life sends.

There are stories upon stories of people who experienced what they felt was a catastrophe or negative event – an illness, losing a job, bankruptcy, divorce. This is compounded by the fact that we have been conditioned to be grateful for the things that work out and disappointed by the things that don’t go according to plan. We label and compare things so life turns into a series of events that are either good or bad, happy or sad, right or wrong.

But the reality is that successes and failures, opportunities and challenges are all just part of life. It’s not personal – it’s just life.

How we decide to deal with whatever life sends us is the critical component to living life like it matters. You determine if it is right to be good, supportive, loving, kind and generous, not because it will make good things happen to you, but because when you have this mindset, you are changed in how you experience life and show up to your world. When you choose to be loving and kind, regardless of what goes on around you, you own your life.

When you experience things that you label as disappointing, what is your approach to reassess or reflect on them for their lesson, opportunity or blessing?

When life sends you something difficult, challenging or aggravating, what is your intention to see it is as just a life event that doesn’t have to set off your triggers, inspire a meltdown or give you permission to take it out on others?

Each event comes to you as neutral. Your beliefs and what you have been taught create its meaning. You have the choice to look at whatever comes to you to find in it the opportunities, lessons and happiness. If you find your view of things continues to make you unhappy or makes you feel that you are at odds with your world and life, what beliefs need to change?

Life isn’t always easy, but it is always remarkable. It has good and tough times. Celebrate the good times. Learn from the tough times.

To quote a flight attendant from a recent flight on Southwest Airlines, “Sit back and relax or lean forward and be tense. Either way it’s your choice. We are still heading to Dallas…”

I love that. Be fully present, fully engaged and loving life – sit back and relax – or be angry, frustrated and bitter because of the things that have or haven’t happened in your life – lean forward and be tense. Either way, life is moving on. How you ride is up to you.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. How will you start to focus on what is great and good in your life, not just on the frustrations and aggravations?
  2. What tough event or situation in your life turned out to be a blessing?
  3. What is one belief you have that holds you back from loving your life? How can you start to change it?


Consider reading The Greatness in the Small Things

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