In my “book” the holidays (and not simply the one we most recently celebrated) are a time for reflection and giving thanks in more ways than one. I try every year to take time alone and with my family (especially with my children) to reflect on how blessed we are. This can be challenging during the rush of the season and the many “priorities” imposed as a result of expectations we generally put on ourselves. Add to that my children, who essentially live in a lake wobegon world, and invariably we have conversations about why they cannot have everything they want, and why we are giving things to other children (’why don’t their parents just get it for them….?”) etc.

As well its is time for my favorite Kinetix holiday tradition of sharing a special book that inspires us as a team of people to feel better and do better. The cornerstone of this tradition is the participation of our clients and friends in making suggestions for each year’s book. Today, I wanted to share it with you as well. After carefully considering a large number of special and intriguing books, we selected “Embrace the Struggle” as one most fitting in relationship to the challenging year that has been 2009 for so many. The Author and I are convinced that in the last year the overwhelming majority of people have struggled with some kind of concern – personal, family, business, health, job, relationships – you name it.


In “Embrace the Struggle, Living Life on Life’s Terms”by Zig Ziglar and Julie Ziglar Norman, Zig posits that “it seems that struggles just happen over the course of time…the [key] question is how do you handle them?” In it, Zig is moving in his willingness to be transparent and open about how he is embracing his struggles with a brain injury and positional vertigo, the results of a fall down the stairs in his home. The remainder is a collection of inspiring stories of others who faced struggles and not only survived, but amazingly live lives more fulfilling than they experienced before their struggles began. The book will challenge those who might be tempted to hide behind the frailties of their health or challenges of their circumstances to take positive steps toward living life fully and gracefully.

There are many good stories and messages, but my favorite was Fred Smith, for his attitude on life and this life view: “A problem is something you can do something about. If you can’t do anything about it, it’s a fact of life, and so we accept facts: we solve problems.” For me, this encapsulates the challenges and opportunities with living life on life’s terms: understanding what you cannot change and endeavouring to take something good out of every bad experience. If you are currently struggling, I hope you can take some solace and direction by accepting the “facts” of your circumstance, and focus instead on solving the problems. As hard as this may be, it will help you to move forward positively.

As hard as 2009 has been, I know that I have much to be thankful for: family and friends, including many new ones thanks to social media; the growth of our firm in such a difficult time, our clients and partners; my wonderful team and their daily contributions to name a few. I am grateful for the ability to help others and for the many people who help and support me. As we go into the holidays, this is a gentle reminder to accept the facts, solve the problems and live life with an expecation of what is to come. As Zig says: “where there is a struggle, there is life. For that we can be grateful!”

Views: 21

Tags: Embrace, HR, Inspiration, Live, Struggle, Zig, Ziglar, career, fullest, lessons, More…life, search, the, to, truth

Comment by Will Branning on November 30, 2009 at 12:57pm
Very good reminders of what to focus on - solving problems - and what to simply accept. It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
Comment by Shannon Russo on November 30, 2009 at 1:39pm
Well said Will! - thanks for the comment. Shannon
Comment by Shannon Russo on November 30, 2009 at 3:55pm
Maren, thanks much! and you DO fly, just in different venues than you considered as a little girl. Thanks for sharing and I beleive I am adding his quote to my 2010 top personal objectives. Shannon
Comment by Hassan Rizwan on December 1, 2009 at 2:18am
Shannon, i am certainly looking forward to buying this book. My pick of the post are the words highlighted by you on problems and fact. Gave me a new dimension to looking at problems. Thank you so much for sharing this masterpiece.
Comment by Shannon Russo on December 6, 2009 at 11:05pm
Hassan - you are most welcome!

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