Earlier today, I was sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich for lunch when an elderly couple pulled their car up under a nearby oak tree. They rolled down the windows and turned up some jazz music on the radio. Then the man got out of the car, walked around to the passenger side, and opened the door for the woman. He took her hand and helped her out of her seat, guided her about ten feet away from the car, and they slow danced for the next half hour under the oak tree.
It was a beautiful sight to see. I could have watched them forever. And as they wrapped things up and started making their way back to the car, I clapped my hands in admiration.
Perhaps doing so was obnoxious. Perhaps I should have just appreciated being a silent witness. But I was so caught up in the moment—so incredibly moved—that my hands came together before my conscious mind caught on. And I’m sincerely grateful they did, because what happened next inspired the words you’re reading now.
The elderly couple slowly walked over to me with smiles on their faces. “Thank you for the applause,” the woman chuckled.
“Thank YOU,” I immediately replied. “You two dancing gives me hope.”
They both smiled even wider as they looked at me. “Us dancing gives me hope too,” the woman said as she grabbed the man’s hand. “But what you probably don’t realize is that you just witnessed the power and beauty of second and third chances.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“My college sweetheart—my husband of 20 years—lost his life to cancer on my 40th birthday,” she explained. “And then my husband of 6 years died in a car accident when I was 52.”
As my mouth hung open, we all shared a quick moment of silence. Then the man put his arm around her and said, “And I lost my wife of 33 years when I was 54. So what you see here before you—these dancing partners—this incredible love—this marriage of only 3 years between two kindred souls in their late 60’s . . . all of this is what happens when you give yourself a second and third chance.”
Finding Peace Through Painful Experiences
I’ve spent the rest of the day thinking about that beautiful couple, about second and third chances, and about how human beings find the motivation to keep going . . . to keep loving . . . to keep living, despite the pain and grief and hopelessness we all inevitably experience along the way.
And this topic hits close to home too.
About a decade ago, in a relatively short time-frame, Angel and I dealt with several significant, unexpected losses and life changes, back-to-back:
- Losing a sibling to suicide
- Losing a mutual best friend to cardiac arrest
- Financial unrest and loss of livelihood following a breadwinning job loss
- Breaking ties with a loved one who repeatedly betrayed us
- Family business failure (and reinvention)
Those experiences were brutal. And enduring them in quick succession knocked us down and off course for a period of time. For example, when Angel’s brother passed, facing this reality while supporting her grieving family was incredibly painful at times. There were moments when we shut the world out and avoided our loved ones who were grieving alongside us. We didn’t want to deal with the pain, so we coped by running away, by finding ways to numb ourselves with alcohol and unhealthy distractions. And consequently, we grew physically ill while the pain continued to fester inside us.
We felt terrible, for far too long.
And getting to the right state of mind—one that actually allowed us to physically and emotionally move forward again—required diligent practice. Because you better believe our minds were buried deep in the gutter. We had to learn to consciously free our minds, so we could think straight and open ourselves to the next step.
We learned that when you face struggles with an attitude of openness—open to the painful feelings and emotions you have—it’s not comfortable, but you can still be fine and you can still step forward. Openness means you don’t instantly decide that you know this is only going to be a horrible experience—it means you admit that you don’t really know what the next step will be like, and you’d like to understand the whole truth of the matter. It’s a learning stance, instead of one that assumes the worst.
The simplest way to initiate this mindset shift?
Proactive daily reminders…
Mantras for Finding Motivation in Hard Times
It’s all about keeping the right thoughts at the top of your mind, so they’re readily available when you need them most. For us, that meant sitting down quietly with ourselves every morning (and on evenings sometimes too) and reflecting on precisely what we needed to remember. We used short written reminders (now excerpts from our books) like the ones below to do just that. Sometimes we’d call them mantras, or affirmations, or prayers, or convictions, but in any case these daily reflections kept us motivated and on track by keeping grounded, peaceful, productive thoughts at the top of our minds, even when life got utterly chaotic.
We ultimately discovered that peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard realities to deal with—peace means to be in the midst of all those things while remaining calm in your head and strong in your heart.
Challenge yourself to choose one of the bolded reminders below every morning (or evening), and then sit quietly for two minutes while repeating it silently in your mind like a mantra. See how doing so gradually changes the way you navigate life’s twists and turns and hard times.
- Never assume that you are stuck with the way things are right now. Life changes every single second, and so can you. – When hard times hit there’s a tendency to extrapolate and assume the future holds more of the same. For some strange reason this doesn’t happen as much when things are going well. A laugh, a smile, and a warm fuzzy feeling are fleeting and we know it. We take the good times at face value in the moment for all they’re worth and then we let them go. But when we’re depressed, struggling, or fearful, it’s easy to heap on more pain by assuming tomorrow will be exactly like today. This is a cyclical, self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your future through that same dirty lens, and nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. You will keep on justifying, reliving, and fueling a perception that is worn out and false.
- It is what it is. Accept it, learn from it, and grow from it. It doesn’t matter what’s been done; what truly matters is what you do from here. – Realize that most people make themselves miserable simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right now. Don’t be one of them. Let go of your fantasies. This letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care about something or someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only thing you really have control over is yourself in this moment. Oftentimes letting go is simply changing the labels you place on a situation—it’s looking at the same situation with fresh eyes and an open mind, and then taking the next step.
- Use pain, frustration and inconvenience to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at life. – Instead of getting angry, find the lesson. In place of envy, feel admiration. In place of worry, take action. In place of doubt, have faith. Again, your response is always more powerful than your circumstance. A tiny part of your life is decided by completely uncontrollable circumstances, while the vast majority of your life is decided by your responses. Where you ultimately end up is heavily dependent on how you play the hands you’ve been dealt.
- The most effective way to move away from something you don’t want, is to move toward something you do want, gradually and consistently. – The key is in building small daily rituals, and understanding that what you do in small steps on a daily basis changes everything over time. This concept might seem obvious, but when hard times hit we tend to yearn for instant gratification. We want things to get better, and we want it better now! And this yearning often tricks us into biting off more than we can chew. Angel and I have seen this transpire hundreds of times over the years—a course student wants to achieve a new milestone as fast as possible, and can’t choose just one or two small daily habits to focus on, so nothing worthwhile ever gets done. Let this be your reminder. Remind yourself that you can’t lift a thousand pounds all at once, yet you can easily lift one pound a thousand times. Small, repeated, incremental efforts will get you there. (Angel and I build small, life-changing rituals with our students in the “Goals & Growth” module of the Getting Back to Happy Course.)
- Effort is never wasted, even when it leads to disappointing results. For it always makes you stronger, more educated, and more experienced. – So when the going gets tough, be patient and keep going. Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing. Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there. Again, it happens one day at a time, one step at a time. And the next step is always worth taking. Seriously, no matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will make it. Have an unrelenting belief that things will work out, that the long road has a purpose, that the things you desire may not happen today, but they will happen. Practice patience. And remember that patience is not about waiting—it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working diligently to make daily progress.
- Don’t lower your standards, but do remember that removing your expectations of others is the best way to avoid being derailed by them. – As you strive to make progress, you will inevitably encounter road blocks in the form of difficult people. But realize that the greatest stress you go through when dealing with a difficult person is not fueled by the words or actions of this person—it is fueled by your mind that gives their words and actions importance. Inner peace and harmony begins the moment you take a deep breath and choose not to allow outside influences to dominate your thoughts, emotions, and actions. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of our “1,000 Little Things” book.)
- As you age, you’ll learn to value your time, genuine relationships, meaningful work, and peace of mind, much more. Little else will matter. – Remember this, especially when the going gets chaotic and tough. Focus on what matters in each moment and let go of what does not. Eliminate needless distractions. Realize that too often we focus our worried minds on how to do things quickly, when the vast majority of things we do quickly should not be done at all. We end up rushing out on another shopping trip, or hastily dressing ourselves up to impress, just to feel better. But these quick fixes don’t work. Stop investing so much of your energy into refining the wrong areas of your life. Ten years from now it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what brand of clothes you wore. What will matter is how you lived, how you loved, and what you learned along the way.
Afterthoughts… On Deep Loss & Renewal
Before we go I want to briefly address the biggest elephant in the room. That elephant is losing someone you love. The elderly couple in the opening story lived through this kind of loss. Angel and I have lived through this kind of loss. And although there are no words to make it easier, I want those who are presently coping with this kind of loss to know that the journey forward is worth it. The end is always the beginning. There’s more beauty—a different kind of beauty—ahead.
You see, death is an ending, which is a necessary part of living. And even though endings like these often seem ugly, they are necessary for beauty too—otherwise it’s impossible to appreciate someone or something, because they are unlimited. Limits illuminate beauty, and death is the definitive limit—a reminder that we need to be aware of this beautiful person, and appreciate this beautiful thing called life. Death is also a beginning, because while we have lost someone special, this ending, like the loss of any wonderful life situation, is a moment of reinvention. Although deeply sad, their passing forces us to reinvent our lives, and in this reinvention is an opportunity to experience beauty in new, unseen ways and places. And finally, of course, death is an opportunity to celebrate a person’s life, and to be grateful for the beauty they showed us.
That’s just a small slice of what living through deep loss has taught us.
Just a short piece of a longer story that’s still being written . . .
A story of second and third chances, renewed hope, and heartfelt dances.
And the reminders above will get you there, one day at a time.
Before you go, let me ask you a quick question:
- Which point above resonates the most with you right now?
And how might reminding yourself of it, daily, change your life?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.
St Mike Nweke says
Truly, I’ve gone through the down side of life some ten years back when I lost my bread-winning job, whereas my wife was down with stroke. It was a time finding inner peace was as traumatic as facing my problem squarely.
However, with my wife’s death early last year, I felt the lowest ebb of my life. So coming across your blog and the articles contained therein, I come to see life rough times differently. Thank you.
I love the story, the personal touch, and the thoughtful reminders.
I think I’ve mentioned this before in a comment on a previous post, but it’s worth mentioning: Even when times are rough and I’ve lost my motivation, , my top strategy is to stop myself from nagging and complaining. I just do the absolute best I can in the present, one tiny step at a time, just as you teach. This is probably the most important idea and strategy for living I’ve picked up from your course and coaching (although there are many) — it is indeed a strategy — a daily ritual — I use every single day of my life.
Thank you, as always! And I’m looking forward to your next conference in Orlando.
Marc Chernoff says
You’re welcome, Martha. And well done on all the progress you’ve made over the past several months. It’s inspiring, really! 🙂
Looking forward to seeing you at Think Better, Live Better next time.
Ben Nemtin says
I’m going through a period in my professional life right now where nothing seems to be going exactly as planned. I’ve been feeling quite demotivated almost every day, and the vast divide between where I am and where I want to be is eating me up inside, but posts like this, books like yours, and the emails you send bi-weekly give me hope and motivate me to push me forward one day at a time. Thank you as always for everything you do.
Me too going thru some hard times. I find myself questioning my purpose and I don’t know how to get back on the horse or even which worse to get on.
Marc Chernoff says
You’re welcome, Ben. Thanks for the positive feedback. It means a lot.
And, May, we’re thinking of you. Please take it one step at a time. And let us know if you need further assistance via coaching, etc.
So beautifully said. Thank you! I lost my younger brother to cancer 6 years ago. He was 50 years old and we were very close. It has been a struggle dealing with his loss but unfortunately in addition to losing him, my sister-in-law has denied us any contact with their 2 young children. So for me and my family the loss has been multiplied. It has taken me a long time and I still struggle but am becoming more accepting to the way things are. I try to just move on with my life and realize that I cannot change the circumstances but have to keep moving forward.
Julie M. says
You will never know how much I needed this today. The 24th anniversary of my sister’s suicide is in a few days and after all this time, it isn’t any easier. I am also reeling from the loss of my mother, step-father, and father-in-law over the past year due to medical issues. I carry a lot of guilt that I couldn’t care for them all as much as was needed, so points 1 and 2 carry the most impact for me at the moment. Thank you for sharing them with us.
I absolutely love when your blog’s emails drop into my inbox right when I need to read them most. Your work is always something I know I can turn to for inspiration and motivation when I really need it.
Thank you for that opening story and commentary, and for your closing thoughts on losing someone you love. I’ve been there, and I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said and how you’ve said it.
the eye traveler says
I LOVE your blog. It helped me through my hardest time 8 years ago and now visiting you again, still inspired <3
Greetings from Western Australia.
Reading this piece has pulled me around. An hour ago I was screaming at myself through sheer frustration; I’m out of work and am running out of money and am afraid of the consequences that this may bring. I desperately wanted to end my life – although I don’t believe I could actually do that to myself. I’m now feeling a lot calmer and hopeful for the future…thanks, I’m so glad I found your site and intend to check-in as regular as possible for inspiration and hope.
Hang in there lots of us going thru hard times but the world wouldn’t be the same without us. I too lost my job and running out of money but worse running out of purpose has made matters even worse. I can’t seem to get back on the horse even though normally I am a fighter. I have choices but nothing immediate. I remind myself to be brave.
Years ago, I went through 14 months of unemployment and under-employment and it’s very hard on one’s self-esteem. Not sure if this is an option, but what saved my bacon was “temporary employment.” It boosted my self-esteem, kept my mind and emotions engaged. This eventually led to a decent job and then I was eventually on my way. I recommend it if it’s an option.
Marc Chernoff says
We’ve been in the same position in the past. Please take it one day at a time. One day at a time is always achievable. It’s only when we add the complexities of the past and future that things get overwhelmingly mind-numbing. In any case, know that we’re cheering for you.
Sometimes the most traumatic and shocking events in our lives lead to a most amazing and fulfilling future. Please hang in there, and look to the gift in the crisis – there always is one, although it can be well hidden. There is a way forward, it just may not be the way you imagined. I wish you well on your journey. Try not to lose hope!
Peter Morris says
Thanks Nancy. You’re definitely right about things turning out different to what we imagine. In my 56 years on this planet I don’t think anything has ever turned out as I imagined it would, yet I still over think and catastrophise. In fact, it’s only through my present circumstances that I’ve realised I’ve thought like that for most of my life, so something enlightening is beginning to happen!
Peter, you took the words right out of my mouth. I too am out of work going on 11 months and I am running out of money and my self-esteem and self-worth are non-existent. I get interviews, sometimes multiple interviews and never any offers. My worth is defined by my job and being able to support myself. Suicide crosses my mind each and everyday. I don’t know how much more rejection I can take. This article and your comment gives me hope because although I feel so alone and isolated I know others are also going through something similar.
I wish you luck in your job search and hope your situation gets better very soon.
Peter Morris says
Hi Nancy – your comments pretty much summerise the way I feel at the moment and I guess we’re not alone; there must be thousands of people out there in similar situations to us. I’ve tried living in the present rather than the past or an imagined future and that has helped a great deal. Thanks for your kind words, they have cheered me up no end! Your situation, like mine, will pass. I understand your frustration at being unemployed, but you WILL find work again. I wish you the very best and hope you fulfill your job dreams soon. This may sound a little simplified, but it’s worth remembering during those tough moments: Winners never quit and quitters never win.
There is nothing like having a child diagnosed with a serious disability like we recently have had, to railroad you into feeling rather lost and unmotivated.
However, every day we slowly regain a little bit of our lost hope and find the love for our child to help us continue on and hopefully, eventually thrive for our whole families sake.
Your beautiful, thoughtful words that we read on a regular basis are helping us to get there. A heartfelt, deeply appreciative ‘thank you’ for both yourself and Angel.
This is a great story; I have seen it happen in my church and communiy.
It seems my challenge w/ my circumstance is ACCEPTANCE!
I transferred to a career, c.oser to my parents to assist in their care; primarily to set home care in their home as my 80 year old father had an amputation; he, nor my Mother could care for him!
I had talked with my adult siblings, 10 & 14 years my senior, about my concerns with Mother’s driving and the Care Daddy was not receiving in nursing care and assisted living, though it feel on death ear!
Without disscussing this I move home to begin my task.
Since this time my parents died, my Father’s best friend, and a significant; though I consider myself to be healthy, to day, during that time I was diagnosed w/ Graves Disease,, that. Required 2 years of travel, high doses of steroids and bi lateral great ca.
I sold my home to Care for myself and no have little money to find another place to live; I’m on family property, and they want me to move, which will provide money for a home! Problem I have little financial means to find a home.
The acceptance and paralyzingly affects to get thru the many tasks have forced me to train my thoughts, toward positive things, acceptance my family, may or may not come together again, and the prayer to continue to find family friends.
I look forward to hearing from all!
Lois Thorpe says
I found when my husband died that I felt better about myself and others if I helped those around me deal with my husbands loss. It gave me great joy to give his best friend his treasured hockey jersey’s signed by some of the greats, something they had shared together. I called his ex girlfriends and gave them the pictures and poetry they shared from that era. I called each and every one of his co-workers that were dealing with the grief they were feeling from his loss. We shared stories and memories and gradually I felt strong enough to move on. I was strong enough to deal with all he had left me with: the unfinished business, 2 young boys and so much more. Thanks to this blog, it to gave me hope each day to carry on, it was one more tool in my tool box of life to carry me on. If I can do it anyone can.
Sarah, you really did do the right thing for your parents. I am sure they are taking care of you from up above. Pray things work out for you soon.
Thank you for the lovely post. I think the most important things I learnt here today are …
1. That we should not try to get some kind of hasty joy when things are going badly; they always tend to backfire. I have done these kinds of things or been impatient and given up after things went bad.
2. Be calm and know that you will get there eventually. So, take small baby steps which are manageable and you will get there . very, very hope giving!
I am currently going through a very difficult situation right now. I am 26 years old and a few months ago I had to have eye surgery. The doctor found holes in both my retinas and the surgery was meant to prevent retinal detachment which inevitably leads to permanent blindness. I am more afraid than I’ve ever been in my life and I don’t know what to do. As I was driving home this evening I realized something that scares me even more than the situation. It is the complete lack of control over this situation. I keep thinking that this is happening to me because of something I have done. I am trying to create meaning where there is none. With all of that being said could any readers here give me some advice or encouragement from their experience?
Eve Salinas says
I too just had laser surgery for a large hole that was found in my retina . I feel assured that with the proper follow up care I will not lose my sight. The surgery is to prevent the vitreous fluid in your eye from getting behind the retina and detaching it. The chances of this happening once the procedure is completed are slim. I hope that your doctor explained well the procedure that you had. You need continued follow up to see if any new holes develop and to assess the health of your eyes. Luckily for you and me the holes were found before permanent damage was done. This is the bright side. Keep all follow up after care appointments. This is not caused by anything that you have done Nor something that you could have prevented from happening. Some people have thin retinas to begin with and is described as a retinal lattice pattern. It’s more common in nearsighted individuals. Control comes in knowing the signs of retinal detachment and protecting the health of your eyes. The fact that you are now aware of the condition is reassuring in and of itself. Namaste.
Wow…thank you for this post. I’ve been a subscriber for many years but lately I wouldn’t pay attention to my inbox. Now I see I have been missing out on so many good reads. Eveything is on point, although the after thoughts are staying with me and I will be revisiting that part every morning until your next post.
Thank you, I had a really depressed weekend and this is what I needed to hear to bring my goal back in focus. #6 is the one that resonated the most, “Don’t lower your standards, but do remember that removing your expectations of others is the best way to avoid being derailed by them.” and the second and third chances. though a lot of them did. I am in the process to end an emotionally controlling marriage. Throughout the 34 years of hearing that I wasn’t good enough or doing things right or waiting for what I needed in the relationship, I realized that I should stop waiting, since he wasn’t going to change (and he told me point blank he didn’t want to change) and I should stop waiting and start working towards my happiness as I define it. Not listening to the hurtful sarcasm meant to derail me and control me has helped, but then there was another unforeseen complication. The kids (adult) stopped talking to me and since I couldn’t tell them all that was going on, started believing his twisted side that he was the one being wronged and kicked out! They are so blinded that I am tired of putting my needs aside for everybody else’s and jeopardizing my health in an unhappy relationship and I am releasing him and moving past it. It’s his choice to behave the way he does, it’s my choice not to put up with it any more and decide to move on. I told my daughter this before I made my decision and as a warning before this happened (and she was still talking to me) that it would be hard, and I had the choices of either staying as things were and being unhappy and continually hurt or go the tougher road and live my own life (which would be my own, not being told how to live it and I was doing everything wrong, and I’ll be responsible for what happens and have to own up to it, no blaming anybody else :)). So even writing this down has helped. They are adults and need to come up with their own conclusions.
Beautiful. This resonates with me more than anything I’ve ever read. My husband passed almost 3 years ago, and yesterday I met a very nice man who lost his wife more recently. I see & feel his pain, and want him to embrace his feelings for her. I believe allowing ourselves to grieve fully helps up to cope, and to have hope for enjoying life again.
Change up to US please
Been struggling with letting go of the people I love and I think its because of the small fantasy world I live in that is misleading me, think I need to stop expecting more from people and start doing the more I want for myself and all will fall into place…
“It is what it is” resonated with me the most — along with a teaching from Unity Church: what it MEANS is a different matter because I give it meaning myself; until then, it has no meaning, it just IS. I give whatever happens meaning out of my abusive childhood, and in that way I never get free of the abuse. Only when I remember that life itself is not “against me” and I choose what it means, only then am I able to move forward in a positive way, taking “what is” as an opportunity for learning and growth.
Just to be frank, this is the most brutal yet honest article I have ever read in this kinda tough season of my life. Number 4 hits me the most. I’m currently on my last year in college and I was thinking on the same page as the title says, losing hope and faith because of, you see, the current of life. I have read more productivity articles than I can count but this one opened my eyes in a different way. I hope you keep inspiring people and share your thoughts with the world because you see, people like me and maybe more who lost their way, need it. Thanks once again.
Eugene Matthews says
Sometimes He calms the storm… sometimes He calms the child.
You’re absolutely right when you remind us that “It is what it is.” And encourage us to embrace the face that while we can’t change some of what happens to us, we are in full control of how we respond or react. Which is why I encourage everyone to adopt the mantra
“I never lose. Either I win or I learn.”
Love your final comment! I must add this to my affirmation list. Thank you for sharing.
Amazing post, thank you guys for sharing!
Its so hard, especially when the challenging road has been so long, it’s hard not to feel deflation. What resonates with me is that the challenging circumstances we face are few compared to the energy we expend in resisting them.. We are.self inflicting and this makes me realise that I need to stop… Appreciate, take the learnings and move forward.
Thanks again, and keep going… You guys are an inspiration to all….
Thank you for this post it gave me so much hope. I had stopped reading your posts because they are too long but this one I read and has given me much peace. I also read many posts here and it seems many of us are struggling to stay strong and happy. I seem to have lost my purpose after a miscarriage then going into depression, losing my job. Losing my ability to have children made me feel cheated by life and so sad. I am hanging in there and have never experienced this loss before made me lose my motivation for life. Currently trying to go back to work but finding it hard to explain my two-year disappearance from life. I let myself drown now trying to swim back to the surface, hoping I can still stay on top.
Karabo Ramontshonyana says
Thanks alot for this I needed it for refuelling. I lost my mum 3 years ago I gained my strength and a had a renewal of my life immediately she passed. I celebrated and cherished the moments, through my morning I choose positivity. All thanks to you M&A I had already made it my daily rituals that through lives ups n downs positivity n flowing through life is key ????
Thank you. I am going through a tough time. This has given me strength to carry on and believe that something better is around the corner. To believe again.
Thank you I so needed this today. It has also been so helpful and comforting to read other’s experience so heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all who have shared 🙂
Thanks for sharing such an inspiring article.
I lost my first marriage through a painful divorce when I was 32. I remarried 5 years later to a wonderful man who I lovingly refer to as my “upgrade husband”. He passed away suddenly 6 years ago. The morning after his heart attack, I made a commitment to myself. I declared to “keep my heart filled with love and appreciation so there wouldn’t be enough room for grief to take over”. Dancing between pain and gratitude is easier said than done but what a great teacher it’s been! I’ve been a self proclaimed mantra junky since my divorce years and consider those one liners posted awkwardly all over my living space my connection to the life I want to live. You are absolutely correct… they help. They serve as little reminders to focus on what we want more of – more love, more kindness, more joy. Thank you for the lovely reminder that second and third chances exist and worth the effort to to go after them!