Embrace and Engage

Larry Olsen August 20, 2021

We have all had our struggles in life and sometimes they are more frequent than we would like.  We’ve been told there are many ways to deal with hardship from denying their existence to accepting and moving on. But when it’s all said and done, does any of that make us feel better in the moment? The more we wish something away the more prominent it becomes in our lives.  Like a little something called Covid-19, when will it stop? For many, it’s ruining everything. We have all been through the Pandemic blues, but have you noticed it gets worse when you focus on how much you want it to stop and wish it never came. Most of the time the truth is we can’t change our circumstances immediately, and if we struggle it usually makes it a whole lot harder. What if we embraced our circumstances and found a way to thrive? 


Remember those Chinese finger traps? Well life is a little like that.


My daughter had been working long hours for several weeks and got through it by looking forward to spending a weekend with a friend of hers. At last, they were together and off for a well-planned summer hike. They were a mile into the hike, enjoying every minute of it, when the sky darkened, thunder rolled in, and the rain began to pour. Now walking through thick mud, sopping wet with a few miles to go before home, their spirits were dampened and their weekend about to be ruined, an idea struck my daughter. Why not embrace the circumstances they are in, by finding value in this less than desirable weather. After the mud-fight and sliding contest, they walked the rest of the path barefoot, enjoying every minute of it.


There were two ways this situation could have gone. One being resistance. Where my daughter and her friend let the unpredictable circumstance of weather control them, most likely ending in tears, some cuss words leading to the rest of the day being a downer. The second being to Embrace & Engage. They accepted this was happening and decided they were not going to let this ruin everything but in fact make it better. If you haven’t experienced a mud fight/sliding contest, it is highly suggested. In the moment there is always a choice. 


We have no control of what circumstances will be thrown at us, but we can choose how we will take them on. They can either be the reasons we are not happy or satisfied, or the reasons we flew so high. If we choose to embrace and engage with our circumstances, we find learning, we find joy, we find places we never thought we would go. A fresh perspective can be life changing. With the current challenges in our world, I’ve been able to embrace the slowness & engage with the isolation, and ask myself questions that really matter, the answers have altered the course of my life, and I’m so grateful for that. When your next hardship arises, whether it’s massive weather change during your date at the park, or a global pandemic, ask yourself how you want to come out of this. Do you want to struggle and resist the situation already at hand, or do you want to embrace it and see what comes? 


Before you leave this blog ask yourself; what can I embrace and engage with? Please share your embrace and engage story with us at: success@aperneo.com, we’d love to hear it.


If you would like to look at redefine or tweak your company’s culture in these changing times, contact me today at Aperneo and let’s start a conversation.

Connect with Larry: LinkedIn | Email

About Author: Larry R. Olsen, Corporate Culture Expert, Keynote Speaker, Author and CEO of Aperneo: An Achievement Acceleration Company

Aperneo is an achievement acceleration company providing individuals and teams quick, actionable guidance on how to break ingrained, ineffective habits. The Aperneo approach to professional development balances common sense, practical neuroscience, and personal accountability, enabling clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work, and engage with more success.





Asian woman wearing a raincoat outdoors. She is happy.

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