Look out, here comes the next wave!

There seldom is a single wave. - Icelandic Proverb

There seldom is a single wave. – Icelandic Proverb

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, things gets worse. Why is that? Why does it sometimes seem bad stuff happens in waves, or in threes, or without let up? The answer is, this is the way our universe operates and it is larger than us. But, the opposite is also true. Good can come in waves too. It just seems that more bad follows bad more often.

There is an old Icelandic proverb, Sjaldan er ein báran stök. Which translates as, “there seldom is a single wave”. The meaning is, good or bad events are often followed by more of the same. We have old sayings like this because they are true. There are truisms, lessons learned from living.

In baseball we say that hitters are in a “slump” when they can’t seem to get a hit. In golf, a normally great player who hits bad shots one after another has a case of the “shanks”. Alternatively, a basketball player who sinks shot after shot is “on a roll” or we speak of “winning streaks”. In each instance, no one realistically expects the player to stay in either of those different situations indefinitely.

But, in business or in life, sometimes it seems as though things can get tough and stay that way for a very, very long time. It is human nature to better remember the tough times and how long they seemed to last as we forget just how great the good times were when we thought they would never end.

We gawk at highly successful individuals and it seems everything is going their way. It seems they can do no wrong and everything they touch becomes gold. We are seduced into thinking this is always how it has been for them. We tell ourselves they are the lucky ones and we will never have such luck. Really?

What we didn’t see was all of the effort that preceded their success, the years of struggle, sacrifice and failure. Every successful individual has laid a solid foundation for success and placed themselves in a position to garner win after win. Even so, those who are successful still have losses but the odds are definitely in their favor due to their continuous steadfast efforts.

When we suffer, like it or not, it is usually because of choices we have made. When it seems the bad just keeps on coming, could it be because we have laid a very different foundation? One that isn’t predicated on success, but rather a foundation which has set us up for failure because of our choices. A foundation not conducive to victory?

If that is the case and you feel you are riding a negative waves one after the other, there are several things you can do to tip the odds back in your favor. The first take home message here is no matter how tough circumstances seem to get, or how long they seem to last, all bad streaks will eventually come to an end. Especially, if we begin to intervene on our current circumstances in meaningful and positive ways.

The second take home message is you can construct a new foundation at any time, one that is more conducive to success. I just don’t believe there is only so much success to go around only a lucky few can have. 

Take a hard look at where you are and what it will take to catch new waves for a more positive outcome. Ask yourself, are you making quality decisions? Do you have all of the knowledge and tools you need? Do you need to redirect, reinvent, or reignite yourself for eventual success?

Lastly, never ever give up. History is replete with individuals who have given up and thrown in the towel just one moment before all of their dreams and aspirations would have been fully realized.

Remember, just when things seem as though they can’t get any worse and you feel as though you can’t go on any longer, at that moment, you are the closest you have been to the wave which will turn it all around and make the big difference.

Throughout your life, have there been times when good or bad, success or failure seem to come at you in waves? How did you handle those times? What effect did they have on you going forward?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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