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“You should see the pile of you-know-what I’ve got to deal with.”

 Given the nature of the world we live in that’s not very surprising, is it?

But consider these words from a man who had to deal with more you-know-what than most, Abraham Lincoln. Speaking during the dark days of the civil war he said:

 “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

“Rise with the occasion.”  Not a bad strategy…whatever the occasion.

We don’t have to wait for a war. We have plenty of difficulties as it is—difficulties at work, in relationships, personal difficulties.

And Lincoln’s words remind us that the difficulties we face are opportunities to rise. To grow. To become a larger person.

They also remind us that in order to “rise” we must “think anew and act anew.”

This is important, isn’t it?

It’s easy to get stuck in a tough relationship problem or work problem and we just keep repeating the same old thoughts, same old arguments, same old actions, even though they’ve never worked.

It’s like the guy who gets his car stuck in the mud and just keeps cursing and pushing on the accelerator and spinning the wheels faster and getting in deeper.

It’s time to stop. Step back. It’s time to “think anew and act anew” in order to “rise with the occasion.”

This is a strategy that uses the pile of you-know-what in our lives to “fertilize” personal growth. As Bernard M. Baruch said,

“The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles.”