All along I have been hinting at this "key principle" and today I will reveal it for those that find themselves suffering the consequences of making stupid decisions.
Our prisons are full of men and women - young and old alike - that are living with the consequences of stupid decisions. Yes, this is an extreme example, but it is a truth that we cannot ignore.
Think about this as well - apparently the possibility of serving prison time has not been that much of a deterrent for those on the verge of making a stupid decision. And, due to that lack of clear thinking - most of our prisons are overcrowded.
Let's look at this situation for a moment. After all, some of the examples that we used in our first podcast/blog entry dealt with some that either ARE spending time in prison or MAY be spending time in prison before it's all over. So, what happens with them now?
They have lost a lot of valuable time in their future as an athlete and may or may not be able to return to their career. Even those that MAY return will NEVER be the athlete that they were BEFORE making that unwise choice - that's just a fact of life and our physical bodies. They WILL have a record which will always be a part of their life history and will ALWAYS be something that potential employees will know about and want to get more information about.
The last part in the above paragraph will be true for anyone - athlete or not - that has served time in prison. This will also be true: there will be many people that will prejudge them due to the fact that they have been in prison.
Is this fair? It really doesn't matter if you think it is fair or not - it is another fact of life. And, honestly, it is an extended part of the consequences that come from making an unwise decision. "But I've paid my debt to society!" Yes, that may be true, but the consequences from unwise decisions can linger long past the time frame that we would wish.
Now then - for others that may not be spending prison time but still are feeling the hurt and pain of the consequences of making stupid decisions the road may be just as long. You may have lost your job, completely destroyed your relationship with your family and/or even lost your health due to an unwise decision.
Here's the thing for anyone and everyone that find themselves stinging from the consequences...you CAN make amends, but consequences will come and they WILL be paid!
You can say, "I'm sorry" - you can pay back money - you can serve prison time - but you can NEVER go back and undo what has been done. That, my friend, is an impossibility.
That's why it is SO important for all of us to think clearly BEFORE finding ourselves in a situation that will be controlled by emotions --- what happens next can NEVER be undone!
What then? Are you done? Finished? Worthless? Should you just "throw in the towel" and not even try now that your life seems to be ruined? If you feel that you have lost everything - is there any reason to try to improve or should you just let go and follow the path of least resistance?
It's up to you. It's YOUR choice. No one can make this decision for you, but it IS a decision that you WILL make. Yes, "doing nothing" IS a choice.
So, are you ready to find out the KEY PRINCIPLE that anyone in this situation MUST FOLLOW if they desire to live a productive, positive and successful life even AFTER making a stupid decision that has cost them dearly?
Here it is: "Understand that this is NOT the end!"
Hey, again, if you follow me regularly you know that I like to make things simple. The wording and the length of the sentence makes this KEY PRINCIPLE appear to be simple - but it's not as simple as it may appear!
One that finds themselves in this situation will have to fight, scratch and claw every step on the way to instill the positive influences necessary into their minds and then implement them into their lives. Negativity will want to rule and ruin your life - BUT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CANNOT SURRENDER AND GIVE UP! This is NOT the end!
"As long as there is breath there is HOPE!" - See how important this quote is?
A quote from Jim Rohn really has great significance in this situation as well: "The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become."
Now, I know this may sound a little silly to some, but think about it - especially if you find yourself in this situation... You now have the chance to start all over again! This CAN even be an exciting time for you if you approach it in this way!
YES, now you MUST go back and look at what I have covered in this series of discussions and realize that you now must approach things in a whole different way.
In other words - YOU MUST CHANGE! And that means you must change pretty much everything! You must change the so-called friends that you had in the past. You must change the places where you spent your time before. You must change your attitude and your mindset. YOU must change YOU!
If you don't then NOTHING will change for you and your life!
So now, wherever you are - you must "re-map" your life and decide where you want your life to go and how you want your "new life" to look! Along with that you MUST make decisions EARLY as far as what that means for your life!
This part - making decisions EARLY - is the part that tells you just change your environment as I discussed a couple of paragraphs earlier. Decide NOW how important it is for you to transform your life!
Will this be easy? Likely not.
Is this impossible? NO, it is not!
But is IS up to you!
And, believe it or not, there are many people that are willing to help you make the right steps along the way. Oh, you may never even meet these people - but through their books, podcasts and other materials you can gain GREAT strides in moving in the right direction.
Remember: "THIS IS NOT THE END!"
And, think about this - I close with this little quote every day...but now think about how important it is IF you are one that must begin rebuilding their life....it all happens one day at at time. So...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"