Find power in life’s curves so they no longer have power over you!
My memoir The Power of the Curve happened for several reasons. The two main ones were my spine going wild from severe scoliosis as a teenager and the life and death struggles that followed, and the life curves that followed, including trying to make it in Hollywood and then as an entrepreneur/ghostwriter.
But the underlying reason, the one hidden deep beneath those two specific series of events, the one that inspired this journey of writing a memoir in the first place, was outward facing: I learned how to survive my curves. Now I want to help YOU survive your life curves!
#1: Get to Know Yourself Better
When the script flips in life, it can be a prime opportunity to get to know who you are within that script. Dealing with one challenge can reap the self-awareness benefits of months (if not longer) of journaling. You learn who you are in survival mode versus who you are in normal life – often a real life version of Clark Kent entering the phone booth.
Dealing with life’s curves triggers all sorts of questions about yourself, your life, others around you, and the person you need to become to navigate through it all. The savvy “curve navigators” are the ones who take advantage of these times, using them to dig deep and learn as much as possible about themselves before the script flips back to “normal” (whatever that means). Remember, the next time your life hits a curve – the opportunity clock is ticking!
#2: Learn To Tune Out Noise
In the midst of life curves and the chaos they tend to cause, there is often an eerie silence. A silence that sharpens your senses and allows you to see and hear things that you otherwise would not – one that helps you understand things better.
Chaos offers an opportunity to push away the noise (of the challenge AND of everyday life), step out of the situation at hand, and become an observer. What do you notice when you push the noise away? What do you hear when you learn to sort the information that really matters, from the details that are either in the way or making things unnecessarily worse?
This lesson seems almost custom designed for 2020, where so many are getting swallowed up by the noise, which creates a whole new level of emotional trauma on top of the original event. Another time I wrote about in my memoir was when I got swallowed up by the “noise” of trying to grow my business, listening to advice from anyone and everyone who offered it about the best way to run my business. Allowing this to happen without sifting through the noise to find the right information, only ensured I remained stuck in the problem for even longer, making the pathway out that much harder to find.
When dealing with life curves, make it a point to stop, listen, and see how you can peel the noise away from the source of the problem.
Find out what matters most, what must be dealt with first, and then decide on the best action steps to do that. Taking clear, focused action is an excellent way of combating noise. Do this enough times and you will become a master at tuning out noise and cutting through to the source of the situation – something supremely valuable in life!
#3: Uncover and Shore Up Personal Weaknesses
The last thing you might be interested in hearing about when dealing with a life crisis, is that YOU might be contributing to the problem! But the fact is, during challenging times, our own personal weaknesses (in opposition to our superhero moments), tend to rise up and smack us in the face.
Rather than seeing this as a source of frustration, or worse, turning a blind eye to your exposed weaknesses, why not see it as a colossal opportunity for self improvement?
During the “Hollywood” chapter of my life, while dealing with the tragic loss of a friend, I discovered, among other things, a set of dangerous behaviors I’d picked up, ones that were already setting a course toward my own self-destruction. If I had merely navigated the curve of my friend’s death and moved on, ignoring my own personal weaknesses that were raging to the surface, who knows how it might have turned out?
Curves can be an excuse to hide from life, or they can be an opportunity to take stock, heighten your self awareness, tune out the noise, and become a better, stronger, more resilient version of who you were before. If and how you change, is your choice.
“In the end, the journey of a lifetime can lead you to someplace you never thought you’d wind up. Sometimes, it’s a place you didn’t even know existed. I never could have foreseen that my spine would curve, turning against me like an enemy. I could never have known that learning to survive when your body wants to destroy itself isn’t a matter of being strong, or brave—it’s something different. It’s learning to adapt, to be resilient. To change.”
~The Power of the Curve