Sterile white floors, regal wooden desks and lecterns, a powerful judge, and hopeful young adults. This was the scene at the courthouse when I sat in on a drug rehabilitation program checkup.
Going in I didn’t have clear expectations. What I saw was truly inspiring. Negative attitudes, poor choices, and unfavorable circumstances landed these participants in serious legal trouble. However, they were given a second chance; an opportunity to participate in this program and work towards a better attitude, situation, and future. Not only were many of them making changes to avoid jail, but they were making changes to better themselves. It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and forget that others don’t have some of the advantages we were given. Seeing how hard these participants work to overcome their personal obstacles and demons was truly inspiring.
No matter where you are in life, family, work, school, or rehab, every day is an opportunity to improve yourself and better your life. This can be done through honest self-evaluation, positive affirmations, and recognition of successes and failures.
Being honest with yourself is key to growth and change. It’s extremely difficult to find the time to sit down and reflect on the path you’ve taken and the changes you need to make in order to get where you desire. If only there was a way to make this a little easier… oh wait, ask for help! Help is out there, and it is available to everyone. Schools, group homes, charity organizations, community centers, and even some companies have counselors whose sole purpose is to help others. If you’re not comfortable talking to someone, public libraries are filled with books about self-reflection, self-evaluations, finding motivation, and road mapping your future. The help is out there, take advantage of it.
Positive affirmations can instantaneously transform a day from somber to successful. Whether you land a big account, pass a dreaded accounting test (or maybe that’s just me?), reach one month of sobriety, or write your first blog it is important to acknowledge your accomplishments. This is a great way to help see how each individual success can lead to the future you desire. Life is filled with triumphs, failures, and hardships: if we celebrate the triumphs, learn from the failures, and persevere through the hardships, we are setting ourselves up for success.
Celebrating our simple successes can help us keep a positive outlook and attitude. Seeing things come together sparks a natural reaction of positivity, so keep the successes coming! If you’re having trouble with this, run to your library and look up author Jon Gordon. Books like The Energy Bus, The Positive Dog, and The No Complaining Rule were written to inspire us and help change our attitude and outlook.
What is simple in theory, but you may struggle to follow through with? Hard work. Seeing the individuals in the drug program and all they had accomplished made me realize there is always room for improvement. In just a matter of weeks, some of the participants had gone from being homeless and jobless spending their day in solitude abusing drugs to living in a group home, attending meetings, receiving counseling, working, building relationships, mending family bonds, and creating a future. They may have had the cards stacked against them, but they took the punches. They worked through their challenges, celebrated their successes, and are making daily steps to seize opportunity and create their desired future.
Everyone has a different perception of success and what it takes to achieve it. The fact of the matter is no matter what your definition is it’s going to take honesty, evaluation, recognition, and hard work to get there. Whether you can do it by yourself or need help from other outlets, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you treat every day like an opportunity to better yourself and bring your future one step closer.