“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” – Zig Ziglar
My family and I had the opportunity to go to a friend’s cabin a few years ago. We were told it was not a very long drive to the turn off, followed by a few miles on a dirt road and we would reach the cabin. This sounded like a great opportunity and a fun time away with my family. We had packed up the trailer and had everything loaded and I had finally received the GPS coordinates to the cabin. You can imagine my shock when the GPS said it was a 5-hour drive! Realizing the drive for them was in closer proximity to the cabin than ours was, they thought it was a very reasonable drive (for them it was 2 hours). This was going to be a longer drive than we had anticipated. We evaluated whether this weekend get away was worth the time and effort. Ultimately, we decided to go on the adventure and see an area of the state we had never seen before.
The drive was going well, and we met up with family and friends along the way and were now caravanning our way to the cabin. We reached the turn off to the dirt road that would take us to the cabin, feeling relieved that we were close. The dirt road was wide and had no trees to worry about with the trailer in tow so that was a relief. Driving on a dirt road with a trailer requires driving at a slower pace. In addition, as we drove further, the road became bumpier and more rutted out. We kept thinking to ourselves, ‘I bet it’s just around the corner’, just to realize, nope, we weren’t there yet. The dirt road had exceeded the “few miles” we had been told. To make matters a little more precarious, we had not seen a gas station for hours and we were getting low on gas, making us fearful of not being able to leave and make it to a gas station.
We stopped and expressed concern and were told there was gas at the cabin we could use, and that we were really close now. A little relieved, we proceeded on. We drove a half a mile further and my son ended up with a flat tire on his vehicle. The rocky and rutted out road made changing that a bit tricky, thankfully after a bit of time the tire change was successful and we proceeded on. A few minutes later we finally caught site of the cabin. We had arrived! Tired and hungry, it was now time to relax.
How often in life do we find ourselves on a bumpier and more rutted out road then we had anticipated? In these circumstances I have come to realize that having grit will take me a long way and help me through the trial or challenge. For me grit means:
G – Gratitude
R – Respect
I – Integrity
T – Tenacity
Gratitude. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to be grateful for trials when we are in them. The thing that gets me through them is knowing I will learn something from it. The hard times in life are a blessing in disguise, because they allow us to be more grateful for the good times. When the storm subsides, the sun shines again, and we see the things we learned and the person we have become because of it. It doesn’t mean it’s always pretty, but that is being real, right? Enduring difficult times makes us more resilient, which helps us face future obstacles.
Respect. When we treat others with respect as we go through our challenges, we will be pleasantly surprised at the love and appreciation we both can receive and give, especially to those that may be the cause of our trial or challenge. As we strive to show respect to others, we will create an environment that will help us and others reach their potential. Respect goes a long way in building good relationships, and bringing peace in hard situations.
Integrity. We have all heard that patience is a virtue, so is integrity. When we go through difficult times, we can receive the gift of patience and integrity as we accept our situation and work through it. Our lives may not change drastically, but we will reach a new level mentally, which opens our minds and lives to new possibilities, which over time will be an enduring quality. Integrity or having strong moral principles will help us in our trials or challenges as we are honest with ourselves and others who may be involved. It will also help us be open to solutions and address problems we face with openness to correction ownership of mistakes. Owning our mistakes with integrity will turn the mistake into a masterpiece in the sense that we learn from it.
Tenacity. Tenacity is the ability to grip something firmly, to be very determined, it describes someone who just won’t quit. It embodies mental or moral strength in hardships. It’s what moves us from doing ‘okay’ to thriving. Being tenacious in our trials will move us along to get out of them faster so we aren’t marinating in them. Even more than that, it will give us momentum to continue to do more and not feel exhausted doing it. It’s amazing what happens when we approach a situation with a different mindset and attitude.
On our adventure to and at the cabin, we faced several dilemmas. Our drive was longer than anticipated, there was not much to do at the cabin or surrounding areas, as it was quite barren. As it turns out there was no gas to put in our vehicle to get us back home. However, we did enjoy the time with family and friends and are grateful for the memories and experiences we had there.
We also now knew this was not a location we needed to revisit. Gratefully we did not have any other flat tires and driving on prayers we miraculously made it to a gas station. We learned how to endure, work together in some stressful situations, turn nothing to do into thinking outside of the box to bring new activities and laughter, and realized it was easier to endure as we had each other to rely on.
Sadness is necessary to know happiness, pain is inevitable to know happiness and weakness is also necessary to know strength. It takes hard times to know the good times, which is why the hardest roads often lead to the most beautiful destinations.
Every morning we may wake up with a sense of fear as we face and endure the inevitable stress of life. But if we change our perspective a bit, we’ll see that every day is another opportunity to change our lives. Every new day brings with it the opportunity to make a fresh start and see the light shining through the clouds. Embrace the day ahead with GRIT!
At Believe, we acknowledge that life doesn’t always go according to plan. When we are willing to look at life through a different lens, add some grit, and some people that desire the same, we believe the sun will shine and new and better things will come. If you desire this too, we would love to have you join us!