E,  Four Foundations,  Thinking

6 Ways Losing Taught Me to Win

 file1801281015946

 Anna Poruks

I lost a lot before I got to middle school: our family business, my parents’ marriage, my childhood home.  This series of big losses were not enough to prepare me for losing my relationship with my father and most of my mother’s guidance.

Although bad decisions, mental health issues and probably some plain, old-fashioned bad luck took these things from me before I was even 13, they left me with something far better.   Take a look:

1)  Science tells us that feedback from facial expressions affects emotions and behavior; a simple smile can work wonders.  Even if you’re feeling sad, smiling and staying upbeat can significantly improve your mood.

2)  No matter how hard I try, some things are just out of my control.  Instead of grieving over things that I cannot change I try to see the positive. For example, in a life full of abrupt transitions and unpredictability, I have naturally become accustomed to change.  I choose to love and embrace it.

3)  I believe that success in life is not just handed to people; we must make the choice to do ‘whatever it takes’ to achieve goals.  I have made the conscious choice to chase my dreams and become something great.  I take pride in being positive, open-minded, and original.

4)  I was an incredibly shy child, which was a big disadvantage.  I missed out on many opportunities simply because I was afraid to “put myself out there.”  When circumstances required me to change that part of my personality, I made amazing friends and am happier than ever.

5)  Even though some routines are necessary, it’s important to get away, try things and immerse ourselves in something totally new.  I call monotony “life’s kiss of death” and believe that the “daily grind” is what weighs people down.

6) Growing up I endured many unpleasant experiences and those memories will stay with me forever. However, I have become incredibly thankful for them because they have forced me to mature and molded me into the strong, motivated person I am today.

While I would not wish this sort of upbringing on anyone, I am profoundly grateful for its gifts and lessons.  They make up a foundation that nobody can ever take from me.

##

Anna is a first year student at The College of New Jersey where she is majoring in psychology and plans a career in psychiatry.  In her limited “free” time she plays club volleyball and is active in a variety of campus groups.

10 Comments

  • pacificwhim

    Beautifully candid and revealing writing, Anna. Never lose that ability to be honest with yourself and others. It’s a great gift.

  • Jackie Griswold

    Anna, your insight and wisdom are inspiring. You have learned important life lessons that most people don’t embrace until much later in their lives. I encourage you to hold onto these life lessons as new challenges come along and continue to move toward your goals.

    No one should have to go through the things you experienced, but some of us do. You have chosen to use those experiences to better yourself, and in turn, better the world. Thank you for sharing your insights. I would like your permission to share this column with students in my classes, many of whom share similar life experiences.

    Best wishes,
    Jackie Griswold, Ed.D.
    Professor of Human Services.

  • Jason Houck (@JasonPromotesU)

    Wow Anna. What an amazing article. You truly have found the foundation for building a positive and inspiring you. Not only have you found it but you are not letting it go. I commend you for being strong, having faith and using those aspects to live your life. Just remember to keep it up as new obstacle arrive daily and later in life. Again thank you Anna.

    • Anna Poruks

      No, thank you! It truly warms my heart knowing that my words have touched people on such a deep level. I definitely will continue having my positive outlook on life; in fact, I can’t wait to see where the future takes me!

  • Annie Bartlett

    Anna,

    This old ‘boomer’ is pleased to see a young person taking responsibility for her life and understanding that while we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can also choose how we let it affect us.

    Brava!

    Annie

  • Nicholas Timm

    Anna, you are such a great person. You should be proud of who you have become today. You could have easily went down the wrong path way in life, but you didn’t. Now you are in college and living life to the fullest!

    Best Wishes!

    Nicholas Timm

  • Webber

    Wow Anna. What an amazing article. You truly have found the foundation for building a positive and inspiring you. Not only have you found it but you are not letting it go. I commend you for being strong, having faith and using those aspects to live your life. Just remember to keep it up as new obstacle arrive daily and later in life. Again thank you Anna.
    +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *