by Bryan Golden
Everyone encounters adverse circumstances. Some people survive and thrive while others suffer and allow their spirit to be extinguished. It’s not the circumstances that vary, it is the manner in which each individual chooses to respond.
Harold was out for a walk when he came across an old abandoned well shaft. Peering over the edge, he lost his footing and fell to the bottom of the deep well. Harold was unhurt as he landed in the soft dirt at the bottom.
As Harold sat down to ponder his options, some dirt landed on his head. Ralph, the owner of the farm where the well was located, had meant for years to fill in the old dry well so that it wouldn’t be a hazard. Ralph and several of his farmer neighbors, arrived at the well to finally fill it in.
Harold yelled up to the men. But the well was too deep for them to hear him and it was certainly too dark for them to see him. Ralph and his friends never expected someone to be in the well.
Harold quickly realized the men had no idea he was trapped at the bottom. Harold knew that if he didn’t do anything, he would be buried. So, as each shovel of dirt landed on him, he shook it off and packed it underneath his feet. Little by little, Harold was able work his way up the shaft.
Ralph and the men at the top of the well were in shock when Harold eventually climbed out. Although he was completely filthy, Harold was ecstatic that he was free from his awful predicament. Harold contemplated how ironic it was that the same dirt he used for his escape would have been his demise had he not taken any action.
We can learn a number of lessons from Harold’s experience. First of all, it is possible you will find yourself in an unexpected situation you didn’t plan for and don’t like. Once Harold fell into the well, all that mattered to him was how was he going to get out.
How he came to be in his predicament and what he could have done to avoid it were irrelevant so long as he remained trapped. Harold might wish he was not trapped or lament his carelessness in falling down the well. But in order for Harold to survive, all of his mental and physical energy must be devoted to solving his problem.
Harold’s circumstances were not going to improve on their own. If he did nothing, his situation would have gotten worse. If Harold were passive, the dirt falling on him would have buried him.
Life can get messy. When dirt starts falling, stand up, shake yourself off, and use it to your advantage. Don’t act like a victim. Ralph was not targeting Harold. Assistance from others is not always available.
Don’t panic. Your situation may seem dark, but there is a way out. Don’t panic. Don’t just lie down, you must move up and out.
Whenever you fall into a hole, you can never dig your way out. One way or another, you have to climb out. When the dirt starts falling, you have got to get moving in order to avoid being covered over.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper.
© Bryan Golden