Positive Path Recommended Reading

Olympic flame - No need to be a sporting champ for hope to burn eternal!
By Catherine DeVrye

Ever had one of those bad hair days? Or weeks? Or months? We all do and it's on those occasions when we think we're the only people in the world who feel that way.

Reflecting on my life, I can barely believe I was honoured to carry the Olympic torch on the day of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. It hasn't always been a smooth journey from the foothills of the Rockie Mountains, where I started life in an orphanage, but it's always been an interesting one!

People ask how, as a motivational speaker, I stay motivated myself? I read and listen to uplifting books and tapes, exercise and meditate in nature, place inspirational sayings in easily visible places and talk with trusted friends. Still, there are still some days when I, too, get down in the dumps.

Most people are surprised to learn that I'm not always 'up'. They visualize me on stage, bright and bubbly, flying around the world, staying in 5 star hotels, meeting interesting people. All that's true. But, they forget that I spend endless hours in an airport waiting for lost luggage or a delayed flight, seated in the smoking section of a restaurant or alone in an empty hotel room. At times like these, I need to remind myself of a favourite quote and silently repeat it, almost as a mantra: 
'Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.' 
I then approach 'challenges' more calmly, focusing on what I can do in the given situation, rather than get overly stressed about events over which I can't control.

I haven't always believed this, even though my wonderful (adopted) mother always used to say something similar:

"Things always work out for the best dear."

As I last saw her in hospital, dying without dignity, tubes protruding from her frail, cancer ridden body, I thought of her words and couldn't for the life of me see how things could ever work out for the best again in my life. It was two days before Mother's Day in 1973.

Exactly 25 years later, I found myself about to address an International Year of the Oceans conference. Jean Michel Costeau was the other speaker. A helicopter lifted us from the front of the luxury Vancouver hotel to spectacular views over Whistler Mountain. It was hard to believe I was the same person who had dejectedly left that hospital room when my Mum had drawn her last breath, so soon after Dad had also died of cancer the year before.

An only child, frightened and alone, I was faced with two choices. I could wallow in self-pity and resort to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. But, that would not bring them back and there was little point in looking backwards. After many tears, I chose to look forwards and make the best of a bad situation. I still had no faith in my mother's words that things always work out for the best. but must admit that there's much wisdom in that cliché. But, I firmly believe we must progress one step beyond those words. Things won't work out for the best unless we take personal action to ensure: 
'Life works out best for the people who make the best of the way life works out'… and like the Olympic flame, hope can burn eternal in our heart, if we give it a chance.

About the author: Catherine DeVrye is the author of the #1 best seller 'Good Service is Good Business' and the newly released inspirational gift book 'Hope Happens!…words of encouragement for tough times'. Winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award, she speaks internationally on managing change, customer service and turning obstacles to opportunities. www.hopehappensnow.com Phone: 61-2-9977-3177. Email: office@greatmotivation.com 


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