A Grin at the End: It’s going to be a great year

January 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

It’s a whole new year and I’m pumped. I know that this will be the best year ever!

It’s not that I have a crystal ball or that I have a winning Power Ball ticket.

It’s just that I know this year will be up to me. Luck or fate or whatever else influences the events that surround me will certainly have an impact on me and my family, but I will have the biggest impact of all.

How I react to everything is 100 percent up to me.

I’ve known a lot of people who let every bad break bring them down. They give in and allow themselves to become victims.

I hope I never go that direction.

I don’t want to sound like a Pollyanna. I know bad stuff has happened and will continue to happen.

But I also know that if I play heads-up baseball — to borrow a sports metaphor — I can either avoid or make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

An example: I got fired once.

As it turns out, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The owner of the newspaper I worked for was a young woman who — how best to say this — was unacquainted with reality.

In other words, she had a hard time telling the truth. When she and I parted ways, it was one of the best days of my life.

I went on to earn a stock broker’s license and learned everything I could about that industry. Since then, I thank my lucky stars that I was able to do that.

Everything I’ve done since then, both personally and professionally, has been helped by the fact that I got canned.

What could have been a disaster turned into a quantum leap forward.

I could have sat around the house moping.

I can be really good at that, if I try. I could have blamed everyone else for what happened. And believe me, there was plenty of opportunity for that. I could have done all sorts of revengeful things.

But all of that would have held me back, much more so than anyone or anything else.

Instead, I chose to move forward. I chose to learn something new and make the best of it. I have heard it said, when things go wrong, you have a choice to be bitter or be better. I chose to be better.

Was it hard? You bet. I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier when it comes to certain things.

For example, I may be the worst salesman ever. The old joke that the salesman was so bad he couldn’t sell ice water in the middle of a desert was probably about me.

I used to figure that if someone needed something I should just give it him. What I know now is that if someone needs something he, or she, needs to pay for it. That’s how they will most appreciate it.

But more than anything else, it helped me learn that my future is up to me.

That’s why I know for a fact that 2015 will be the best year ever.

And it can be for you, too.

It’s all in the choices you make.

Carl Sampson is a freelance editor and writer.

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