When is Bad News Actually Good News?

While practicing as a small animal vet I often had to give my clients some bad news about their beloved pets:

“Ms. Jacobs, I’m afraid I felt a sizable lump in Missy’s abdomen. We’ll need to take some x-rays to learn more but I’m afraid we may be dealing with a tumor.” Or…

“Mr. Gerald, I noticed on Freddie’s physical that he’s built up a large amount of tartar on his teeth which has led to a severe case of gingivitis…”

But often, what started out to be bad news eventually became good news. How so? Well, if I hadn’t discovered Missy’s lump or Freddie’s infected gums, we’d not have been able to correct the problems.

And yes, there’s a similar corollary with Life On Purpose Coaching. (But I bet you’d already guessed that.)

You see, many people who find their way to Life On Purpose Institute, are dealing with some pretty heavy problems — often heavier than a lump or infected gums. Many are burned out, overwhelmed, and frenetically busy, often running on empty emotionally and spiritually.

Or they’re drifting, drifting, drifting through life, perhaps stuck in a boring job, or an equally boring lifestyle….or other equally unpleasant, even painful issues and challenges, many of which they’ve been tolerated for years. After all, most of us have a high threshold for suffering. (But I’ll save that topic for another article.)

That’s all bad news.

And just like it was tough to tell a pet owner that their favorite four-legged child might have a serious ailment, it’s sometimes tough to point out where my beloved clients may be selling out on themselves, or where they’re hurting and have been hurting for so long, that they’ve adopted patterns of behavior to numb themselves from the pain.

I did that myself several years ago. My “numbing agents” were alcohol and drugs, but other common ones include workaholism (come to think of it, I used that one too), addictive shopping, video game playing, excessive television watching, etc.

But that’s at least part of what someone hires a coach for, like one of my clients once told me. “I hired a coach to tell me the truth about myself that my friends and family members won’t tell me.”

The Life On Purpose Coaches Creed says it this way:

Imagine a relationship where the total focus is on you, on your life purpose and on living true to it…

Imagine someone listening, not only to your words, but also to the soul behind them as it expresses its truest desires…

And further down it says,

Imagine in this relationship you could count on this person to absolutely tell you the truth with ruthless compassion — the truth about your many gifts and talents that perhaps you’ve taken for granted, as well as they see you’re selling out on who you really are…

What’s the Good News in Today’s Bad News?
So, if you turn on the TV, surf the web, or listen to radio, you’re bound to hear plenty of bad news. The economy is on the verge of collapse, they say. The war in Iraq continues, one presidential candidate is quick to point out the shortcomings of the other, and vice versa.

So, what’s the good news in all of this? Well, for sure, it will be different for each of us, but the question might be worth pondering about this week, even pondering ‘out loud’ by discussing it here on the Living & Working On Purpose Blog.

I’ll share more of my views from the Life On Purpose Perspective there. How about you? Don’t continue to live a life of quiet desperation, to borrow a phrase from Thoreau. Have your voice heard and in the process contribute to others.

In the meantime, let me share a perspective from Wayne Dyer’s interpretation of the Tao’s Verse 58:

“See wholeness in place of good or bad fortune.”

I look forward to hearing your comments, questions, and sharing how you’re coping with the news of today.