The Middle Part

By September 3, 2008 7 Comments

Often when we are right in the middle of a difficult situation, it is tempting to look at our results as a disaster.  “I’ve failed!” we might lament, feeling completely certain that life’s test has defeated us.  A few days ago I was meeting with a client who expressed something like this and his embarrassment at being in the kind of situation that he was.  I responded to him that from my perspective he was describing not a failure, but the MIDDLE part of a very inspiring story.  Think about how some of the stories that inspire you the most have some very difficult stuff in the MIDDLE.  Everything is OK in the end – if it is not OK, it is not the end!  Keep working on your story – you’re not done yet.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Dr. Paul says:

    A subscriber, Tony, adds this piece…

    Reminds me of a slogan that a remodeling company near here uses: “When we’re done, you’ll be happy. If you’re not happy, we’re not done.!”

  • Leslie says:

    This reminds me of one of my favorite songs…
    “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, from their Bleed American album.

    Timeless wisdom delivered via an upbeat dance song.

    Don’t write yourself off yet.
    It’s only in your head you feel left out,
    Or looked down on.
    Just try your best,
    Try everything you can.
    And don’t you worry what they tell themselves
    When you’re away.

    It just takes some time,
    Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
    Everything, everything will be just fine,
    Everything, everything will be alright. (alright)

    You know they’re all the same.
    You know you’re doing better on your own, (on your own)
    So don’t buy in.
    Live right now.
    Yeah, just be yourself.
    It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough (good enough)
    For someone else.

    [Chorus x2]
    It just takes some time,
    Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
    Everything, everything will be just fine,
    Everything, everything will be alright. (alright)

    Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
    It’s only in your head you feel left out, (feel left out)
    Or looked down on.
    Just do your best, (just do your best)
    Do everything you can. (do everything you can)
    And don’t you worry what their bitter hearts (bitter hearts)
    Are gonna say.

    [Chorus x2]
    It just takes some time,
    Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
    Everything, everything will be just fine,
    Everything, everything will be alright. (alright)

  • DeRoy Taylor says:

    This is so true. Og Mandino says that each failure brings me that much closer to success. The power is in the no’s from life–most salespersons get rejected most of the time. Therefore, if people looked at each no as a failure, then they would not last very long. On the other hand, when we look at each experience as a learning circumstance, then we can grow from the experience and become more successful. Winners never quit–they evaluate and go on to the next experience.

  • Hi Dr Paul,

    Thanks for today’s M-power. I truly am in the middle of an inspiring story, one that unfolds a bit more every time I choose to take the next step. As Darren tells me, “When the student is ready, the teacher(s) will come.” Thanks for being one of my teachers. I wish you the best.

    Diana Gourley–An amazing work in progress!

  • I’ve heard it put, “In life there are storms. We are either entering or leaving a storm; else we’re in one.” There was something I heard Les McGuire say. He was talking about the economy (surprise) and stated that Americans were striving to ‘get back’ to a different state of being; to get back to ‘normal.’ Yet, what they don’t realize, is that this is the norm. The speed in which change happens, the rises and the falls. It’s all part of the ‘new normal.’ When we embrace this rather than fight it, we can relax the tension in our shoulders just a bit and move forward with greater clarity of our objectives and the facts we have to work with.

    I, like Gabe in the previous comment, feel like I’m coming to the middle of a middle (“a” middle, not necessarily “the” middle). It’s a great feeling. It’s a great feeling to discover the strengths I’ve learned thru this ‘middle’.

    Is it pessimistic to think of life as a series of storms? I think it’s only pessimistic if we’re not prepared. If we see life as something with challenges and learning opportunities, then we can even smile THROUGH the storms. Once thru a couple of storms successfully, we can know that their not so bad.

    Someone once said, “I have no friends. I have no enemies. Only teachers.”

    A similar lesson was presented in the movie Tombstone:

    Doc Holliday: What do you want Wyatt?
    Wyatt Earp: Just to live a normal life.
    Doc Holliday: There is no normal life, Wyatt, there’s just life, ya live it.

    Thanks, Dr. Paul, for the reminder of The Middle.

    –Dave C.

  • Wow, when I read the article I thought, “He’s gotta be talking about me! But wait, I’m not his client – how does he know that I said that?” Then I realized again that I’m not the only one here on planet earth. If so, that would be pretty boring and I wouldn’t have made a comment like that because there would be no other opinion that I would care about.

    Often in my life I have felt like my “failures” were failures because I was too concerned about what others thought from the outside looking in. I have come to realize though that our stories are personal and that it does not matter what others think. If it did then I should have been relegated to being a miserable wretch a LONG time ago.

    It’s funny, but I have come to realize that those feelings of failure are like the refiner’s fire. There is a purification process that happens as we experience the MIDDLE part of our inspiring stories. I’m grateful for those experiences in my life.

    I was having lunch with an associate of mine yesterday that shared his inspiring story with me. He has fallen flat on his face in business and thus financially two times in his life…and trust me each time the fall was hard and it hurt! But he went on to become immensely successful and is an inspiration to me. I shared with him some details of my MIDDLE part of the story and he said to me, “With no cliché intended and no feigned sincerity Gabe, you will look back over these experiences in your life and thank God you had them. They will make you strong and will propel you to unprecedented success in your life if you don’t allow them to drag you down!”

    I am already feeling that as I am entering the part of the story that comes towards the end of the MIDDLE part (if that even made sense). The results can be seen in the new company that I have created and the relationships that have been and are continuing to be formed with good people. I’m thankful for my MIDDLE part of the story! Check it out at http://mylegacyjournal.com and let know what you think.