Some would argue that there are merely two types of people in this world- those who see an obstacle as a reason to quit and those who see it as an opportunity to try something different. When life hands you lemons, you can put on your puckered face and bemoan the gift, or you can learn how to make the best lemonade out there!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life; making lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable.
We all experience obstacles in life. It’s inevitable that you will face challenges and experience struggle, and even failure, along your journey. What will define you as a person, and put you squarely into one of the two camps above, is HOW you overcome setbacks in life. Your success will be determined on whether you suck on those lemons or learn to make lemonade.
Want to learn how to turn those obstacles into opportunities? Here are some strategies for turning whatever lemons life hands you into the lemonade of your dreams.
Concentrate on What is Possible
In any setback or obstacle, there are things you can control and things you can’t. Focus on where you can make a difference and forget the rest. The setback represents an opportunity to learn something new, try something different, and test out new possibilities. Instead of wasting time lamenting that the obstacle has been placed in your path, focus instead on what you can do to either move the obstacle, go around it, or find a way of getting over or through it.
There is Always Something You Can Do
Regardless of the complexity of your problem, there is a simple place that you can start to resolve the situation. Find the immediate action you can take, then follow the next logical step. Then follow the next one, and the next one. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to getting yourself out of your current situation and back on a path toward attaining your goals. Achieving dreams is not about a giant leap from beginning to end but about a million small steps you take to get you to your destination.
You Need More Than Hope
Regardless of the obstacle you encounter, you will need more than hope to help you overcome it. While it is essential to remain positive and optimistic that you can surpass your current setback, just relying on your hopeful attitude will not actually propel you forward. Setting achievable goals is vital, as is engaging in actions regularly that help you make your much-desired progress. You need a plan, and you need to do something every day in order to achieve your dreams.
Don’t Worry About the “Shoulds”
The best plans in life are the ones that actually work. Instead of worrying so much about what you are supposed to do or what should happen, you need to focus instead on what is actually working. Progress toward a goal is much more important than perfection, so focus on what will get the job done and let the rest go.
You Can Only Control Yourself
It is a waste of time trying to control events and other people in this world. The only thing you can really control is your own attitude and actions. Believe in yourself, develop mental toughness and resiliency, and focus on how your attitude informs your actions. The rest is out of your hands. The right mindset can be crucial for helping you overcome obstacles, toxic people, and failures along the way, so focus on what you can control.
Marcus Aurelius famously wrote, “What stands in the way becomes the way.” Rather than lamenting your lemons, start learning today how to make lemonade, and you’ll soon find you are able to accomplish anything to which you set your mind.
The Next Time Life Gives You Lemons
According to Sam in smarterandharder.com, when life gives you lemons from its seemingly always-in-season lemon tree, a small positive attitude shift can work wonders. With it, you will never be stuck with only one option. Live your life on your terms and be yourself. Show yourself the kindness of reading the situation and overcoming it in a way that works for you.
Other times, a lemon brings legitimate adversity. When that happens, don’t limit yourself to self-talk like “just deal with it.” Instead, conquer it. Next time life hits you with its lemons, limes, or any other citrus fruit it sees fit (yes, even the humble limoncello), you now have a mix of tools you can use to adapt, adjust, and create new, sweeter opportunities for yourself.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.