Jason Redman - Choose Positivity

How to Choose Positivity When Life Knocks You Down

Choose Positivity: Develop Your Mission Statement to Get Through Life’s Storms

As I get older, life seems to accelerate. There’s less time to get things done, and more time is spent dealing with challenging obstacles. There are hardships, confusion, and uncertainty. We are plagued with pandemics, civil unrest, and so much negativity on social media and the news. Even people’s attitudes have become incredibly negative. That’s why it’s critical to find balance in the professional, physical, and personal parts of our lives. If not, we will find ourselves drowning.

In life, there are different storms we find ourselves in. We are attacked by storms no different than the weather. Some days it’s beautiful weather outside; other days, it’s cloudy and stormy.  Our ability to drive forward through those storms is key. During these times, you need an anchor, something you can focus on.

A Personal Mission Statement Gives Purpose 

Thinking back to significant moments in my life, choosing positivity has always been connected to my main teaching point: having a mission. Many people lack a mission and don’t know who they are. They can’t answer “why am I here?” or  “where am I going?” They also can’t answer those questions in the three most important areas of life–professional, physical, and personal. In each of these areas, it’s important that you know who you are and where you are. Everyone has problems. Everyone has issues. Everyone has an excuse not to drive forward. Having a personal mission anchors us and gives us purpose in hard times, helping you move forward, get off that X, and become a victor and not a victim.

The Sign on the Door

Thinking back to my injury, I was constantly bombarded with negative information. Doctors told me they needed to amputate my arm, and it would take years to put my face back together. I was crushed. I remember feeling the same negative, overwhelming feelings: “There’s no hope, there’s nothing I can do, it’s all out of my control. It’s not fair.” All these thought patterns happen when a major life storm comes. As I lay there, I wondered, “Where do I go from here?” The darkness consumed me. But at one point, I told myself, “No. No. I’ve been through worse.”

So many people think my injuries on the battlefield were the worst experience I had been through. It was not. It was failing as a younger leader and being told, “you don’t measure up.” That was the biggest blow I’ve experienced, which took a couple of years to build myself back up. When I finally redeemed myself, it was only six months later when I faced my second life ambush, which led to my battlefield injuries.

Even though I felt all those emotions, I told myself, “No. You have climbed out of a dark hole before. You have the overcome mindset. You will get up and drive forward.”

It was at that time I wrote out the sign on the door. 

And it said 

I laugh at the signature now, but it established a level of credibility. It let people know I was serious, we were living by this, and everyone needed to heed it and pay attention.

Even after I wrote that sign and put it on the door, there was no magic light switch that turned on. I still had hard times and setbacks.

You will have those too. You will be hit in the face with these storms. You may be in a life ambush right now, thinking, “There’s no hope, there’s nothing I can do; it’s all out of my control. It’s not fair.” All of these things are normal human emotions and reactions.

But guess what? The greatest gift you have in this life?

You have a choice.

You have a choice in what to do in this situation. You don’t have to sit there and feel sorry for yourself. You can get up. You can drive forward. You can be a victor and not a victim. 

That is exactly what the sign represents. That sign became my anchor–a mission, purpose, and light in the darkness.

Be A Victor, Remember Your Mission

Recently I was reminded of the importance of that sign. While waiting for a flight in the Delta Lounge in the Atlanta airport, one of the TV’s played a show on miraculous plastic surgery recoveries. One guy on the show had no nose, just a hole. It brought tears to my eyes because I remember the emotional and mental pain of people staring at me. The nose I have currently is the third one they built for me. The first two failed, and they cut all the tissue away at one point, leaving me with a hole in my face. I felt like a monster. In those moments, when I went out in public with my face covered in gauze, I would remember that sign. When I felt down and thought, “There’s no hope, there’s nothing I can do, it’s all out of my control. It’s not fair” I looked at that sign, and it was my light in the darkness. It was my mission. It was my purpose. 

Another time I was lying in bed, and I was in pain. I was hurting. I thought, “this is not fair. How did I get here?” I did all this work to get my career back up, and I was knocked down again. I was crying, thinking, “this sucks. I’m in pain. I hurt, I’m disfigured, I’m a monster.”

Then my daughter came into the room. I looked at that sign on the door, and I thought, “No. No. Get up. You have to get up for her. You have to get up for your kids, your wife. You have to get up for the other warriors. You are the overcome guy who wrote that sign. Other people are looking at it. That’s who you are. That is your light in the darkness. And you will get up, and you will drive forward.”

Write Your Own Sign on the Door

So my question to you is: do you have a mission? Do you have a sign on the door?

If you don’t, I highly encourage you to do it. In my Pointman Planner, I give details on how to write a mission statement. Many people get overwhelmed by that, but your mission statement can be as simple as:

I will be a great father. 

I will be a great mother.

I will be a great coach.

I will be a great attorney. 

I will be a great doctor.

Whatever it is, write it down and put it on your door or even your wall. It will guide you in these dark times and storms. Life is about making sure you have a clear focus.

Learn more about the Sign on The Door and download a great handout. You’ll learn about the sign, but most importantly, it will challenge you to choose positivity and write your own sign on the door. 

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