Never waste a good crisis.
Right before my surgery I had the idea for BITB. I wanted somewhere I could update friends and family once the ‘secret’ was out, and equally something to stimulate my recovering brain. But more importantly, I wanted to feel like I was doing something productive and impactful.
Being told I would have to take a break after working so hard to get to the place I was at felt to me like 5 steps forward and 10 steps back. After my surgery and the minor stroke that I had, I constantly compared myself to friends my age and the life stages they were at. Learning to walk and write and balance again felt so small and things I was just supposed to be able to do. I struggled at first to see value in these achievements and it took a little frustration on my part before I realised that overcoming these hurdles wasn’t wasteful at all.
Never waste a good crisis was something I constantly told myself as a reminder to do something each day that would be a step forward to how I actually wanted to live my life. It was a chance to really see the opportunities that having brain surgery had given me, including the ability to experience those ‘little things’ for the first time again and to become really appreciative of everything I can do.
The simple words, ‘never waste a good crisis’, also reminded me to make the best of my current situation.
They kept me from feeling like I was “wasting” time and from setting unrealistic time expectations for myself. They kept me from comparing my situation to others and feeling helpless, seeing that life is not a race and we all have our own paces. And whenever I found myself frustrated with where I was at, it was a reminder to really value the ‘free time’ that recovery had given me to now focus more on what I loved.
Never wasting a good crisis became a mantra that encouraged me to write blogs, volunteer my time, share my story with media outlets, speak to a crowd of people and even finally learn to cook, despite my newly weak right arm. I started to view this situation as an opportunity to grow and constantly set out to do something this recovery time now meant that I could.
I soon learnt that we’re quick to jump to the negatives of our situations and yet there are so many lessons, insights, and new perspectives that can be gained when we view each adversity as an opportunity to learn something from instead.
I realised there are so many things we can’t control in our lives but what we can control is how we choose to respond to these events. We can choose to make them work for us, instead of feeling like it’s the other way around. And most importantly, we can do the best we can with what we have.
So let this bracelet inspire you to make the best of every situation. Let it remind you that you’re resilient enough to understand why every challenge and hardship was, and is, necessary to your life in getting you to this point. And let it encourage you to never waste an opportunity to grow or learn a lesson from something.