Just a Thought: Hold On Tight Through Lifes Ups and Downs


Hold on tight! These three words may seem simple, but they can make all the difference in how you experience life.

We should all have something in our world that we hold onto. When everything goes to “hell in a handbasket,” how do you respond? Do you throw your hands up in the air and run around in circles like others next to you or do you rise above the turmoil, keep calm, and keep your world in perspective?

We should each have a deep unshakable faith no matter what circumstances come at us. We should be anchored to a core truth that will carry us through whatever life deals us.

Storms happen. They’re part of our daily life. I heard a speaker once say our lives are lived in one of three stages. We are either entering a storm, in a storm, or leaving a storm. Regardless, the storms of our lives define who we are.

You just lost a loved one. Hold on. You were passed by for that position you wanted. Hold on. Your marriage is on the rocks. Hold on. You just lost something that was very important to you. Hold on. You feel insecure about what the future holds for you. Hold on.

Like a rock climber high up on a mountain wall gripping the rock with all he’s got, if he let’s go, it will be the last time he does so.

You’d better hold on...giving up is not an option.

What is it in your life that you hold onto? Is there a true north in your life that you measure events in your life against?

I believe that someone in your life planted some good stuff inside of you in your younger days. I also believe that it is still inside you. It may have been put there by a grandmother, a parent, a friend, or some other adult who impacted your life many years ago. It may have been someone who held on when their hard times hit. One who never lost track of who they were went the waves came crashing over their bows.

But it was planted in you.

Someone has had an influence on you; someone who knows the truth of the way you should live your life and what the core of your existence should be. Likely it was someone who taught you by example.

Somewhere in the steps you’ve walked on the journey of life you’ve come across this person (or maybe a few of these people) who point your way to the right. They gave you something that you can hold onto. Something that you should hold onto...no matter what comes at you in life.

The question is, did you learn from that person? Did you think when you walked some steps with him or her, “well, that may be alright for them, but it’s not right for me.” Maybe you got upset because you thought that person was judging you. Sometimes a person who gives good advice is perceived as talking down to another.

Now it is possible that in the life you are living, you are not holding onto what you should be. You know this, yet you refuse to let go. If you continue this behavior, your life will be defined by this poor choice you are making.

What are you struggling with? I believe you were taught right from wrong. You were taught this when you were younger. And I believe you know right from wrong. You know when you are making a poor decision. Poor decisions pull you away from where you need to be.

I like the great philosopher Jerry Seinfeld’s visual on life being a roller coaster. He said, “Life is truly a ride. We’re all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind, he’s ripping your ticket and away you go. As you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put your arms up and scream, sometimes you just hang on to that bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair’s messed, you’re out of breath, and you didn’t throw up.”

Life truly is a roller coaster. In this example, the holding on is the bar in front of the one riding the roller coaster. No matter what happens around the passenger in the twists and turns of the ride, the one constant thing is the bar she is holding onto. As long as she holds onto the bar, both she and the bar will return to the end of the trip intact.

My challenge to you today is to pause and ask yourself, “what am I holding onto in the ups and downs of my life?” Is it what I should be holding onto? If not, you need to reassess and make sure you define what you believe in.

Are you wandering at this stage of your life? Do you need to find your way back home? Or will you continue to lose more precious days of your life wandering?

I believe that deep inside you is imbedded good things. Return to them if you have left them. Cling to them if they are currently within your grasp.

There is plenty in life that you will encounter that you can’t control. What you can control is how you respond to what happens to you. Give the same crisis to ten different people and watch how all ten of them respond differently.

Holding onto what should be held onto and not wandering away is the best way to navigate the storms that hit. Don’t let the crisis change you...you change the crisis. It is proactive approach to life’s challenges.

Hold on tight in the good times and the bad and see if you don’t experience more peace as you walk your steps in your journey of life.

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.


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