Our Moral Compass: Setbacks Fuel Dreams

“Setbacks have an upside; they fuel new dreams.”

-Dara Torres

Whether we like it or not life is full of setbacks. When you are faced with a setback how do you handle it? With grit and determination or like the world is crashing down around you? 12-time Olympic medalist in swimming Dara Torres says that there is an upside to having setbacks. And that is they can fuel new dreams. I don’t now about you but that is a true example of someone having a growth mindset; they can see the good in any situation even when the outlook may seem very bleak.

Setbacks are bound to happen. It wouldn’t be a normal life if they didn’t. Knowing this is where we need to turn inward and figure our how we can make the best out of something we may not have expected. An example of this is Thomas Edison’s reaction to his factory burning down in 1914. Edison told his 24-year-old son, “Go get your mother and all her friends. They’ll never see a fire like this again.” When his son objected, Edison said, “It’s all right. We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.” Anyone else who might have experienced this same tragedy most likely would not have had the same reaction knowing that all of their life’s work was going up in smoke. Edison’s take was really about the moment, what he was witnessing and wanting others whom he loved experience this sight. To him, what burnt up in the fire were just things. Material things. It was the moment that mattered. This setback did not prevent Edison coming up with other ideas for inventions. It continued to fuel them. That is what we need to try and do. As the saying goes, when life gives us lemons, make lemonade. This is not some special ability we need to acquire, it is in within each of us. We just need to look within ourselves and let our moral compass be our guide.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?

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