As you might know, my husband is a former commercial fisherman. He fished the Bering Seas of Alaska for 20 years, and he was one tough dude. He went days on end without sleep, and dealt with the pain of all sorts of injuries.
He can attest, however, that a one-off injury is not the same as chronic pain. He’s been living back issues since January, and it is all-consuming. I’ve been there, too. In my case, I went six very long years with horrible pain that no one could identify. At least in Steve’s case, they know what is causing the pain and are taking steps toward healing him.
In either case, long-term pain sucks the life right out of you if you let it! What I learned is that you can’t put your life on hold waiting to feel better because you will miss your life. You will all of a sudden realize you stopped living, and the pain won. You don’t get that time back either. You have to be intentional about your life and make a conscience decision to live the best you can every day. You may have to adjust and adapt what you do, but keep on keeping on!
I remember when my feet were three sizes bigger, and I had golf-ball size tumors on the bottom of them. It hurt so badly I could barely stand up, yet, I kept running. Oh, I didn’t run fast. In fact, I looked like I was 110 years old hobbling down the road, but I was out there. With every painful step, I would yell at my pain. “You don’t belong here! Leave my body!” What I was doing was putting myself in the driver’s seat, even though it wanted to control me. I wouldn’t let it. With everything I’ve been through, I firmly believe moving is key. When we stop, we start dying. Period. Again, how you move will change, but you have to keep trying.
Your mindset will either help you see past the pain or see nothing but the pain. Don’t get me wrong. Being positive doesn’t miraculously remove your pain, but it does help you put your focus elsewhere. Don’t give all your energy to it because you won’t have anything left. Be determined to push past the pain the best you can, and when you need to, REST. Part of the healing process is doing what your body needs to heal, and quality sleep is paramount.
When you hurt all the time, sleep can evade you. I don’t function well without sleep and about when mad with four months of little sleep from Lyme disease pain. I tried all sorts of remedies, but I finally had to submit to a sleep aid temporarily just so I could sleep. You can’t heal if you can’t sleep.
Every condition is different, and you must listen not only to what your body is telling you but what your trusted medical partners are telling you. Then you must actually do what they say!
Lastly, during painful times, whether they are emotional or physical, we must lean in closer to our Heavenly Father. When you can barely stand it, He is there to comfort you. During the worst of my disease, I got bulging discs and still managed to teach six hours of fitness classes a week and hike Mt. Whitney. How? By the grace of God! He will provide you strength that is beyond anything you can imagine if you ask, trust and believe.
Some of you just read the above and said to yourself, “You have no idea what my pain feels like.” You are right. I don’t. We are all different, and what I shared above isn’t easy. Having a positive attitude takes determination, and it takes energy. Yet, I can tell you that the energy spent on a positive attitude will reap huge returns.
Whether it is chronic pain, broken relationships, grieving lost loved ones, work stress or whatever else you are struggling with, a positive attitude will keep you in the game. As soon as you submit to stinking thinking, you spiral down. The more you let negatively consume you, the harder it is to get your positive attitude back.
Some ways to fuel positivity are, as I mentioned above, getting quality sleep. You must also stay hydrated. Think about it: our brains are 75 percent water. Without proper hydration, the brain gets grumpy, and it’s hard to feel happy with a ticked off brain.
In our world of 24-7 technology access, we must learn the discipline of setting boundaries. Letting everything in all the time is sensory overload, and it exhausts our adrenal glands. Burnout comes when our adrenal glands give up the fight, surrender and yell UNCLE! Protect your inner peace by carving out quiet time to read, paint, draw, meditate, pray, do yoga or whatever helps you relax.
We also need to guard our hearts. By letting in negative people, we are jeopardizing our own serenity. Know what affects you and limit exposure to it: violent movies, noise, etc. Nothing drains your positive energy more than a vampiric friend! They plug in, recharge, feel better, and they leave you a shell of a person.
Lastly, you need to know what and when to say “no” and what and when to say “yes.” Overcommitting isn’t being kind and loving. It is actually rude and thoughtless because no one wins when everyone feels like you just squeezed them in. Plan more wisely and manage your time better. Hey, if Stella Can Get Her Groove Back, so can you! Believe it and see it my friend.
We recently used Moon Valley Nurseries, despite our previous bad experiences. We couldn’t find what we were looking for anywhere else and thought, “Well, how bad can it be?” Ha…our worst nightmares. We paid top dollar for five, extremely tall Ficus trees. The first crew cut the roots off the trees, and they died in three days flat.
The worst part of it was that Moon Valley first tried to blame us, like we yelled at the trees and killed them. Then they said, “Oh, it’s frost damage.” Um, it’s May in Phoenix!! Then, “Oh that is just normal.” They were D-E-A-D, and that ain’t normal.
Their certified Arborist came out and confirmed, “Yup, they cut the roots off, and they died.” We appreciated his professional opinion to tell us what we already knew. Five more trees were picked out, requiring us to drive down and waste another full Saturday. These were planted, and that crew handled the trees like they were garbage bags being thrown into the bin. They broke FEET of each tree off, and one lost its top. Moon Valley’s website says, “If you want to stunt the growth of a Ficus, cut its top off.” We wanted and paid for tall trees, so we told them. “Oh, they will be fine.”
That crew also buried our landscaping lights and irrigation as well as feet of the plant so that the bottoms were dying off from lack of oxygen. Once again, the all-knowing Arborist came out to confirm what we already knew. “Yup, that tree is done.”
We fought and went round and round, and finally almost a month later, we have five decent trees, but nothing like what we originally paid for. It just wasn’t worth the battle any longer. We have better things to do with our life! We lost hours of work and went through frustration that could have been prevented. Sorry to drag on here, but there are tons of lessons for your business here.
- Your sales people need to know the product, and if they don’t, they need to pass the baton to Quality Control or Customer Service after the sale. Training them to be honest would be a bonus!
- Your customer service people need to actually listen to your customer’s complaints rather than trying to blame them for your failures. They need to be sensitive to the inconvenience they have caused the customer. No one ever offered a discount or additional products to help soften the blow.
- You need to train everyone in your business…from the person answering the phone to the sales person to customers service to the delivery team because you are only as good as the end result.
We actually spoke with a few nice people, but in the end, that didn’t matter. The end result was dissatisfaction with a defective product. Moon Valley could correct much of this by providing proper training to their planting team. Like, “Handle plants with care, don’t let the roots be exposed or cut them off, and clean up your mess!”
Moon Valley also lost product, and that was totally preventable. They had several people involved with trying to get this right, and that cost them man hours. Nobody won.
I’ve been teaching communication, sales and customer service programs for over 20 years, and I can guarantee that if you invest in your people, your customers will be happier, more loyal and become repeat customers. We will NEVER, EVER use Moon Valley again, even if they are the last nursery on the planet. What are your customers saying about you?
I have a dynamic, engaging and effective program called, Show Your Customers You C.A.R.E. that would benefit everyone in your company. Take a look and give me a call to discuss how I can bring this to your organization.