You Don’t Have Problems, Only Opportunities

As I sit here and try to put out my next post I wonder why. My life at this point in time seems to bleak. But I can't let the world tell me that I've failed. I can't, I won't, but mostly, I don't care. People fail all the time, the most successful people I know have failed more times than I've tried. So failure is part of the process, but how do you turn failures into success?

Life is tough and life isn't fair, but it is what it is, and I was taught to persevere and sacrifice. I've experienced richness, and I've experienced poverty. I've been alone and surrounded with friends. So I know I have to get through this bump, I have to because I know I can. But my confidence in myself and those that support me doesn't make my emotions go away. My eyes swell up with tears each time I think about the current situation of things and I wish I could tell you more but I can't. Let's just say that I'm driving full speed on a windy mountain road and my tires keep playing with the edge of the cliff. I can see the summit, but I also get distracted when I hear the tires slipping on the gravel. Turning a failure into a success requires guts, and the entrepreneur's DNA. Not everyone has that, but I know I do.

John recently reminded me of something that my grandfather taught me. There are no problems, only opportunities. That is how I've been living, but I just sometimes feel like I've taken the wrong opportunities. Like this very post, writing it presents the dichotomy of sharing my woes and opening up to you, and in the larger scheme of things trying to lead you to succeed with your blog and business online and even social media. But leaders have mentors, mentors have heros and even heros fall. I've mentored and been mentored, I've rescued people and been rescued. I've also fallen and I'm getting up, bruised and sore. But I gaze forward, I'm looking far ahead, for I see the light at the end of the tunnel even though most people around me don't. They are looking at my feet, only concerned with my next step instead of looking at the race ahead and aiming for the finish line.

So what the hell am I talking about?

As you may know, I had to move recently. Helen, Claire, Picasso and I had to downsize and move in with my sister in law. Although business is growing, it isn't growing nearly as fast or as big as I need it to. The newly added expenses and resource allocation took a toll in our lives and we had to step back and regroup. The best solution was to lease out our house, reduce our financial burden, build back up for a year and spring forward with a punch. This is the plan and I will pack a punch.

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. -- Henry Ford
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. -- Henry Ford

So what opportunities could I possibly find in decreasing my income, moving out of my beloved home and leaving best city in the world and moving in with family? Most people would see that as a trifecta of failures. So I had to look for the positive. And I found them, it wasn't hard because I'm generally an optimist.

Claire can connect with Helen's Family

Claire will get a chance to have a huge house to play in and grow for the next 12 months. That is huge and I really could stop there, for all of these changes and adjustments are really to make a better life for Claire and Helen. Claire already spends a lot of time with my side of the family; mom and sister love her and always want to spend time with her so now she has a chance to bond with the other side of the family too. But why stop there? there has to be other things worth smiling for in dark times.

Crush a hoarder in the making

So one of the other things that resulted from this recent move was downsizing. Downsizing? you wonder... how is that an opportunity. Well, let me explain. In the process of downsizing from a 3 bedroom house to a much smaller place, you will learn to stop accumulating crap. See, we have the largest trash bins available from Waste Management. They are big. And over the past couple of months, we've filled them with junk every single week. Packed, to the brim. I also made about 1/2 dozen trips to donate stuff, from books, to electronics to clothes. Downsizing really makes you prioritize your stuff. I had crates upon crates of electronics, cables, computer parts, gizmos and widgets all waiting for me to give them life in a weekend project. My wife in the other hand collects her own kind of stuff so we had a fair amount of stuff to get rid of. This is liberating and refreshing.

My sister really helped me with the idea of just getting rid of stuff. Not to mention that as a quasi-buddhist, I should just "let go" of all the stuff. She did this a while ago when she went on her world tour. So I took the idea and ran with it. If I hadn't used it in over a year it was bound for inspection; over two years, most likely it would go; three years it was gone unless I need it, makes me money, or I love it. I used to watch the show hoarders and one organizer said this one time, only keep it if You Love it, You Need it or it Makes you money.

I thought of a whole bunch of ways I could sell this stuff on eBay instead of just throwing it out, recycling it or donating it but there simply was no time. And I've tried the eBay thing before and for the most part it isn't worth the trouble. So I got rid of stuff. A lot! Going from a 3 bedroom, 2 car garage + attic home to more or less a small 2 bedroom apartment size area was tough but it is almost done. The house still has a few things left over and we still have to go clean it this week for our new tenants.

Getting to know the in-laws

Dating someone from another culture and race was awesome and fun. Exciting, but with all the excitement and fun times that eventually led us to marry comes a whole lot of adjustments in customs, culture and traditions. Some of them I don't understand, some of them I don't like, and a lot of it is fun, but there is always more to learn and more to understand so with these next 12 months I will learn more and understand more. Our lives are richer each time we learn more about others.

Losing weight

For some reason, I'm always a bit apprehensive when I stay somewhere other than "home" it is something weird I do. I tend to be a lot more organized, clean and also eat less. Don't ask me why, but that's just what it is. Hopefully that will remain true this time and I'll lose some of the extra pounds I put on since last fall.

Time management

Downsizing in space is easy, you simply have less space to work with and you have to adjust. There is no other option. But downsizing in time, that's another proposition altogether. I've had a tough time adjusting to Claire's schedule and the breakdown of contiguous work-hours. I like doing work in 2 - 3 hour increments to get the most out of it, but with Claire, that isn't always possible. What is possible is adjusting her schedule to fit a routine so that I can plan around that. I'm getting better at that, and the help from the in-laws also alleviates some of this. But the most important thing that has come out of all this downsizing, is my time and priority management. I work a little better under pressure so having a time limit to get something done so far has been working out pretty well.

With that, I'll let you go and be on your way. More to come soon and my first few reviews will be coming your way soon.

5 Comments

  1. Hey Oscar,

    Thanks for being so real and sharing so much with us here on your blog! I know that you will be able to succeed through this time and season of life. Just continue to stay the course, work hard, and be yourself.

    I can see success come your way very soon!

    Thanks again for being so real,

    Eric

    P.S. Why don’t John put you up or hook up with some of his big gigs?

    • Thanks Eric for your comment. I’m always learning and collaborating with John. Working on my first product now and learning the ropes. Lots of stuff to learn.

  2. I can relate, when my girls where 10 & 13, we had to move in with my mother-in-law. Yes, we did some down sizing, it wasn’t always easy living with her, but it did result in some good things.

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