Lessons From the Life of a Friend

Several years ago I wrote about a friend who experienced a cancer relapse. I spoke of her grim prospects (her disease, incurable) as well as her indomitable spirit. More importantly I shared 4 lessons I had learned from her and how they are an inspiration to each of us who are striving to build and maintain our businesses. In light of the challenges we face at this time I want to bring them back again. 
There are things that are beyond our control; health issues, economic change and "Acceptance"
decline, the decisions that others make, the actions others take, for example. Often, there is no amount of effort or influence that will change these things. Accepting our limitations is difficult but profoundly freeing. We must do all that we can, however I believe that if we dwell on that which we cannot remedy, we lose precious time. When we recognize and accept what we cannot do we are free to move forward and do the very best we are capable of. My friend accepted her place and she moved on and is living perhaps a more enriched life than she ever has or otherwise might and despite all odds she continues to do so to this day.

"Hope"To believe in possibility, even in the most desperate of times is to maintain hope. Hope is not wishful thinking; it's a resolution to look beyond the prevailing circumstances and to recognize that every bit of our potential is within our grasp. Hope inspires hard work; hope supports the effort of working hard. Hope makes it all worthwhile, no matter how tough the journey gets. My friend faces a certain outcome, yet the power of hope provides the framework to make this journey a far more enlightening experience for herself and those around her; in fact she is more hopeful today than she has ever been.  
The state of being whole, having fully integrated yourself with the world around you. "Integrity"
It's more than being honest with others; it's being honest with yourself. To be in integrity is the gateway to being at peace with yourself. There is no greater clarity than when one faces their own destiny. At last the connection between you and your world is understood and valued. Being in a state of integrity provides access to your greatest potential.

"Images"If acceptance, hope and integrity are the foundation of and the gateway to achieving your goals then perseverance is the engine that sustains the effort. Through this experience my friend has developed a stunning clarity of who she is and where she fits in this world. Her acceptance has given rise to the hope that she will leave behind a legacy of tremendous proportion and value. The integrity in which she lives has provided her access to her true purpose- a purpose she will be able to share with those near to her. Finally it is perseverance that will ensure that all of her goals are reached, even if the time-lines aren't as generous as she may have hoped.
Consider these lessons I have learned from a friend. The success of your business lies within you- if you haven't sorted that out yet, now is a good time to start working on it.

4 responses on “Lessons From the Life of a Friend

  1. Mary McDonald says:

    Thank you, Ed, for a beautiful and timely reminder of things that are all too easy to forget–perseverance and hope, acceptance and integrity–very important things to remember and reflect upon.

  2. Ed Drozda says:

    Mary, your words ring so true. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Debbie says:

    These are good points for us all to think about as we shed 2011 and plan for 2012. Thanks for reminding us of what is really important.

  4. Ed Drozda says:

    Thanks for writing Debbie; I have observed that many business people get lost in a world where "human-ness" seems to vanish. Throughout every day, no matter how we define success (perhaps more importantly, how much of that we have), we are first human. And for us mere mortals, these things really do matter. I am wishing you a very wonderful 2012.

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