I was listening to Les Brown, one of my favorite speakers today. He said something I think we can all relate to. He said, “In life, you are either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm or just came out of a storm.” That may sound a bit negative, but that does not make it any less true. It seems the storms of life seem to come one right after another. There are moments of sunshine between them for sure, but another one is always around the corner if we wait long enough.

Much like the meteorological storms, we also try to predict the storms in our life. Just like they do on the weather channel, we gather information. We look at patterns and past performances. Much like the conclusions on the weather channel, they are right…some of the time. We might be able to predict the storm, but that does little, if anything, to change the fact the storm is coming. They never try to change the weather on the weather channel. You never hear them say, “Everyone point your fan in one direction so we can pull up warmer air.” Trust me, I have thought of this. Why, in life, do we try to change the weather? We fight against the storms with other people. We fight against change itself. As if we can stop these things from happening.

We can spend an entire life doing our best to avoid or run from the storms in the ocean of life. They will find us or catch up to us at some point. That time would be much better spent learning to swim. What do I mean from that? If you know that eventually you will be in a storm, you really have two options. You can hope that the storm is easy, or that it passes you over entirely. Hope is a redeeming quality, but seldom a good strategy. Your other option is to learn skills that can help you not only survive the storm, but thrive in it. In other words, you can learn to swim.

Many of you might be thinking, “Ok, that makes sense. Next time that I see a storm coming, I will work on the skills that will help me make it through.” Let us return to our analogy of the weather. Does mother nature ever call you to ask, “I plan on raining this week. When would be good for you?” I am not sure how it works in your life, but mother nature must think the time I enjoy rain is when I have an outdoor activity planned. Just like the weather, the storms of life can pop up unexpectedly, at any time.

While being interviewed for the show Positively Milwaukee, I asked the question, “When is the best time to learn how to swim? When you are on the shore or when the boat is sinking?” Little did I know, only a year later I would benefit from my own advice. I had to undergo emergency open-heart surgery. The healthy lifestyle I had been living went a long way in helping me make it through that. Had I waited until I was told that I needed surgery to start living a healthy lifestyle, it would have been too late. The same is true in any challenge of life. The longer you wait to start preparing for the storms of life, the chance it will be too late increases. Start developing your skills today. The storm could come tomorrow. Take that swimming lesson today.


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