I would suspect there are very few people who have not heard the one about the horse who walked in the bar, and as he approached the bar, the barman asked, “Why the long face?” It’s an oldie but a goodie. It is a joke, obviously, however, the same question could be asked of many people, every day, all around the world, why the long face?
I was blessed to spend some time with my wonderful mentors over the last week. I drove with Glenda, who has helped me so much in every area of my life, for a couple of hours to visit Ian & Gill, another couple who have been great friends and mentors to me. They have just recently finished building their dream home on more than 100 acres of land in a beautiful part of Victoria, Australia. When we arrived, we had some lunch and then went for a walk around the property to see their cows, the wild kangaroos, and Gill’s two beautiful horses. One who was very friendly, came for a pat and some loving. While he had a long face, he was certainly a very happy horse.
Ian & Gill, and Glenda, are the epitome of optimism and perspective. Ian & Gill have had many obstacles on their journey to the realisation of their dream home yet have always stayed positive and optimistic that they would get there. They did. Glenda has had more tragedy and adversity in her life than many, yet has the perspective and gratitude in her heart to be able to find the good, no matter how bad the situation may seem. I am continually inspired by these people, and incredibly grateful they are in my life. They help me at times when I have my own long face, to give me the perspective to see that what I may perceive as bad, is actually a blessing.
We live in a society that tends to perpetuate bad news. We may have grown up in an environment that focuses on what is bad. We may have developed self-talk that suggests that we are not enough and things never work out the way we want. This being the case, there are far too many people walking around with the ‘long face’ thinking about what they don’t have, don’t like and is not fair. Seriously folks, it’s time to ask the question of ourselves, why the long face? Did you know that the things you are complaining about, challenged by, feeling sorry for yourself about, may be the things that, with the proper perspective, will transform your life for the better?
If it is true that the adversity in your life may actually be the gift you need to live a happier, healthier, and more meaningful life, then the question stands, why the long face? Get excited. I tell the story too much about running myself and two businesses into the ground, working over 100 hours and seven days per week to find myself in $100,000 debt. That sounds devastating, doesn’t it? And, yes, for a while I had the long-face of a victim. I now know that was the best thing that could have happened to me, because out of that apparent adversity came the idea to write a book, which transformed my life.
If I could offer one piece of advice, as you enjoy your day and the rest of the wonderful gift of life you have in front of you, it would be to ask the question when you feel like things are not going as you would have planned. Ask the question, why the long face? Then, think about the lesson, the gift, or the opportunity that could come from the challenge you may be facing. When you ask the question, what is good about this? You will always get an answer. Then you will realise that there was no need for the long face.
In my podcast this week called Pokies to purpose, I speak with Kate Seselja. If anyone had a reason to have a long face, it was Kate. A poker machine gambling addiction for more than 10 years, resulted in her losing an astronomical amount of money, almost losing her family, and taking her own life. Instead of spiralling into victim-mode, she has now found her purpose which is helping people with gambling issues and advocating against the gambling industry. There was no need for the long face.
As you get on with your day and life, you will experience challenges. That is life as a human. When you do, and as you feel yourself sliding into a blaming, complaining and victim mindset, stop and ask the question, why the long face? Then simply look for the good in the situation, and you will definitely find it.