Life’s Magic Words

By Jeff Justice, CSP

A few years after my divorce, I got involved in a business partnership that grew into the largest chain of magic shops in the world — probably the universe! I was lucky because I was able to get out just before it started making money. My partner had been really jerking me around, and I had decided that my entire future depended on breaking up the partnership at the lawyer’s office on this day at this time, and me getting my check so my life could unfold from there.

My partner somehow knew that, too. Each of us has someone who knows where our buttons are. They know just what to say or do to set you off. And sure enough, the night before our meeting, he called me and said, “It’s really supposed to be a nice day tomorrow. I think I’d like to get in some golf. Let’s move the meeting to next Monday.” He got me again! It felt like somebody took a knife and jammed it into my stomach. I bent over in pain. I was so angry, if he had been in the room, I would have hurt him, maybe killed him.

I hung up the phone with shortness of breath and pain in my stomach. I looked down — no knife was sticking out of my stomach — what could be causing this excruciating pain? I finally realized…it was me! I was letting all this happen to me. I was the one causing it by giving him permission! Do you think it bothered him that my stomach was killing me? If he had known, he would have thought, “Okay! Great!” That was the last time in my life I’ve ever let someone else really control my reactions. Okay — that was before I had kids! 

How many times has something happened that you thought was bad — and six months later you were saying, “Thank God!” At other times, an opportunity that should have made you shine like a star instead sucked you into a black hole? Life happens!

I’ve worked to develop the attitude that something positive will come out of every disappointment. (A black hole is more efficient than a vaccuum cleaner!) In my business partnership, I caused myself physical pain, stress in my body acid in my stomach, and everything else. It was totally me, one-hundred percent responsible for myself and whatever happens to me. And the magic words that turned me around are, “We’ll see…!” Sound familiar? Try ’em; you’ll like ’em.

One Response to “Life’s Magic Words”

  1. Great reminder, Jeff! We can’t control what happens to us, just how we respond. And that makes all the difference!

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