Technology and Management Solutions   June 2017

In the June 2017 Newsletter
  When Things Go Wrong / Blog

What do you do when things suddenly change and go in the wrong direction? A newly retired friend of mine, who had just returned from a vacation away from it all in nature, developed a small pain in her lower abdomen. A few days later when it did not go away but rather intensified, she went to the Emergency Room. They diagnosed her with kidney stones that were too large to pass and scheduled her for surgery. Suddenly, though, her body shut down! Her lungs, heart, kidneys, and other systems all stopped working. Thank goodness she was in the ER, because they immediately responded and put her on life support. Her husband was told, "Call in the family now. There is a 10% chance at best, she will make it through the night."

We may fret when we lose a sale, possession, relationship, or job. Last weekend, my car unexpectedly suffered a catastrophic engine failure. I was bummed out. This was going to take my time and money to resolve. But then I thought of my friend. In the grand scheme of things my situation was a minor annoyance. It could have been much worse — such as a car accident with injuries. Losing a possession was inconvenient, but I luckily still had my life and my health.

Practical Pointers When Things Go Wrong

  1. BE GRATEFUL. Realize that things could be much worse. Express your gratitude for all that has gone right.
  2. ASSESS / IMMEDIATE ACTION. Are you in a situation that requires immediate action and time is of the essence? If instant response is needed, take a deep breath, try to clear your head, and slowly breathe out. Look around and observe, taking in all that you can, and then respond quickly to the most important needs relying on your past training and intuition.
  3. ASSESS / TIME AVAILABLE. If it's not a life-threatening situation and you can take a little time, then pause, breathe, rest, and reflect before you respond. Step back and gain some perspective. You may be burned out and not able to see the forest through the trees. Do a deeper honest assessment. Use the multiple techniques explained on p.115-120 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: "Smile / Sign" Monitor, Force Field Analysis, and Progress Inventory. What is working? What is not?
  4. ASK FOR HELP. Who can help you? Should you reach out to professionals or will members of your support system be enough? You don't need to do this alone. Luckily my friend was in the ER with her husband and surrounded by expert medical help. He called in the rest of the family. When my car died, I was able to safely park and pause. Get your support system working. Ask others what they would do in this situation and why they would do it. It may be an obvious decision.
  5. LISTEN. In addition to inputs from others, what is your inner, wiser self saying? Can your spiritual guide provide suggestions? Ask to hear, understand, and have the courage to take appropriate action. Be kind and believe in yourself. Turn off blaming and negative self talk. Once you quiet your monkey mind, often your first thought holds great wisdom.
  6. PIVOT. Are there alternative game plans or strategies that could get you moving where you want to go? What would it take to implement these?
  7. DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Have you taken on a huge project, perhaps too large? Can you divide the project into portions and accomplish just one piece? If you can do this, might it be enough to give you a sense of progress and bring you the energy to continue
  8. ACT. Sometimes a situation can be overwhelming and stressful. This can immobilize you. Focus and take the first positive 'baby step' forward!

The Situation Now

With my car, I decided to go on my scheduled bike ride with a waiting friend as my vehicle cooled off. This gave me perspective and energy. Upon returning and with the help of my husband, we got my vehicle to my trusted car repair shop. The next day the professional mechanics assessed the situation and gave me the bad news: the car's engine was ruined. Now I'm considering my options before rushing into a buy, lease, or repair decision.

With my friend, she miraculously made it through the night and the next critical weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. Somehow with the help of many others including a Higher Power and her strong willpower, she slowly began to recover. Her extended community sent positive energy and prayers. One by one she came off the life support machines. A month later she had the surgery to remove the kidney stones and is now on a path to rehabilitation. She has regained her passion to live, aligned it with the purpose of thriving again, and continues a long pursuit to what we hope will be a full recovery.


Life is short. Death is sure. Sometimes life brings challenges and things go wrong. Be grateful, assess the situation, ask for help, listen for guidance, and then act. It's your choice. Find your passion, align it with a meaningful purpose, pursue it persistently with a plan and the proper people, until you assess progress. Then make midcourse corrections, celebrate progress, and continue your pursuit.

Practical Information for You

GIVE THE GIFT OF PASSIONATE PURPOSE. You can buy my book at the Passionate Purpose Store. It's a meaningful gift that keeps on giving.

RADISH. Interested in more of the Radish story? Follow Radish @RadishSystems or @ChoiceView on Twitter. And subscribe to Radish's RSS feed.

BLOG. Check out my latest Radish Sprouts blog posts about business, career, and life performance.

Resolve in 2017!

Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., CMC®
Radish CEO, Entrepreneur, Certified Management Consultant, Author, and Speaker

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Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D.

Technology and Management Solutions

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