When I was twelve years old, I felt like nobody understood me and there wasn’t really any place for me in the world. I got in a huge fight with my mom and didn’t go to dinner with the family, and I decided I wasn’t wanted, nor did I want to be around anymore. I thought my life was over.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had an intense and brief high school romance with a boy who lived in my neighborhood. He was a bad boy for sure, and I was smitten. He broke up with me at the end of the school year and I was devastated. I thought my life was over.
When I was in my early 20s and growing my first design business, it was bumpy, challenging, and completely inconsistent. We weren’t making enough money, and I fell three months behind on all my bills. The notices were piling up, the power got shut off, and I was certain I was going to lose my house. I thought my life was over.
These days, I play the long game.
I know that every moment and mishap, no matter how enormous and overwhelming, is simply a blip on the timeline that makes up my life. It’s a single frame in a giant, ever-evolving picture. And nothing is actually the end of the world.
Playing the long game doesn’t mean it takes forever to get to where you want to be… it means you understand the road may be lengthy and there may be moments that appear impossible to overcome. Playing the long game means you’re committed to creating what you desire in life. It means you never give up, because you know it’s not the end. You find a way. You choose it.
If I’d given up on life at twelve years old, I can’t count the number of amazing experiences and relationships I would have passed up. If I’d given up on love in high school, I wouldn’t have found the most amazing man and partner a girl could ask for.
And if I’d given up on running my own business in my early 20s for the “security” of a job, not only would you and I not be traveling this path together through my weekly emails, but I wouldn’t have the honor of serving so many beautiful souls all over the world. I wouldn’t have found my passions or uncovered the work I’m here to do… and lord only knows where I would have ended up instead.
Do you see my point?
You have to play the long game.
Always… no matter what happens in life.
No matter how much it hurts.
No matter how impossible it seems.
No matter how dark and hard certain chapters may be.
At the end of 2014 when my entire world came to a crashing halt in a single moment, when loss cracked me open and turned me inside out… despite the devastating, heart wrenching pain that was my grief… I did not think my life was over. Despite how broken and fragile I was, how numb and shattered I looked and felt… when I did nothing but cry in bed for hours instead of eating or sleeping, terrifying my family… I knew, one day, I would be okay.
I knew it in my bones.
In every fiber of my being.
There was simply no question.
No other alternative.
And I remember in those early days of my grief, how I committed to my work on a far deeper level… because too many people believe their life is over, that there’s nothing left to live for or work towards… when really, they’re just a few steps from love and passion and fulfillment. From uncovering who they’re here to be and they work they’re here to do. It’s literally right around the corner.
Remember to play the long game.
Life is short, it’s true. But it’s also far longer and more awe-inspiring than those hard, challenging, and devastating moments or chapters lead us to believe.
We can always begin again.
We can always recover.
It’s a choice.
So choose to be here.
Choose to thrive.
The world needs you.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Positively Positive & Brian Tracy International. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question! Connect with Stephenie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
Image courtesy of Annie Spratt.