A setback can come in many forms.
It can be someone not liking your contribution to a work project. It can be a dismissive glance from a friend or family member after you shared an idea that you thought that they would love.
Whatever form it takes, it stings when you don’t get your way. And that’s how I felt when I was younger, probably until the age of 24.
But then I had heart surgery, and this changed my outlook for good.
Having heart surgery was the rebirth I never knew I needed. It provided an opportunity, a chance for the worst thing in my life to become the best thing. Because after heart surgery, my vision narrowed, but my world expanded. To clarify, I started to see what really mattered. I realized just how short life can be, and so I immediately learned how to look at the big picture.
Once I realized that I could overcome more than I thought possible, I realized that setbacks don’t have anything to do with me. They just happen. They are what they are.
It was my experience overcoming the grueling reality of open-heart surgery that forced me to look at the world in a different way.
I didn’t choose to have heart surgery. This wasn’t the world out to get me. It’s the path that I was on, and if I never had heart surgery, I never would have experienced the severe aftershock that affected my mental health.
I likely never would have had enough pain to learn to tell my story.