I was going through some personal papers yesterday and came across a three page letter that I had written in September of 1992. The letter was addressed to me.
At that time I had hit professional bottom – I was in a dead-end job and was feeling miserable and worthless. What made matters worse was that the project I was working on was stalled and I had too much time on my hands.
On that particular day I decided to take control of my life, so I used the time I had to write myself that letter. In hindsight it was my personal declaration of independence, describing who I was at the time, and more importantly, who I wanted to be and how I was going to get there.
I came up with 8 “rules” that I pledged to follow going forward – a few of which were tough medicine. Here is how I wrote them, word for word:
- Don’t worry about that which you cannot control- 1st tenant to rehab
- Work on those things you can control
- Sometimes, s— happens – get over it and move on
- Don’t give up (life is difficult, remember?)
- Try to take some useful satisfaction over previously trivial matters
- Stay in touch with family and friends – those are the people who can bring you joy and laughter
- Keep smiling – everyone will always wonder what you are up to – rise above it!
- Don’t take life seriously, ’cause no one ever got out of it alive (how soon you forget)
Did I follow these rules and get my “mojo” back? Eventually I did, and when I read my letter again I realize how significant this day, and this piece of paper, was to my recovery.
The last line of my letter said this – “The Best is yet to come – Believe!!”
I did believe. And I still believe.
And you should too – in yourself and the incredible potential of the human spirit.
It’s amazing how things can happen if you just write them down.