Your ethical will: What got you through your greatest challenge?

Welcome back to Twelve essential questions to tell a life story. By joining me in twelve blog posts you will create what Rabbi Leder calls your ethical will.

By answering the questions your loved ones will get to know you deeper and you will understand yourself better. Let your memories bring meaning!

To join – read the blog posts, reflect on the questions and write your own answers. You are very welcome to share them in the comments.

Welcome on an interesting journey!

What got you through your greatest challenge?

Since Steve Leder is a rabbi he is often the first person people call when their lives fall apart. He says he has learned 3 important things from his own suffering and from supporting others in theirs. 

  • Denial, ego, fear or shame prevent us from facing our failures, making the consequences worse than if we had dealt with these failures sooner rather than later. 

  • Pain is halved when shared with someone we trust

  • We endure challenges and learn to live and love more fully because of them.

Thinking about and sharing how we got through our greatest challenge will help ourselves and our loved ones face future challenges. 

One of the answers in the book resonates fully with me, I agree with every well written word in the following paragraph. 

“Know the difference between adversity and disappointment, a heartbreak and a bummer. Keeping a sense of perspective has always been what has gotten me through life’s challenges. It is difficult to count our blessings when we’re in the midst of trauma, but there are alway blessings. Give yourself time to grieve, to lick your wounds. Never discount your real feelings of pain and loss, but also don’t lose yourself in them.”

When I thought about my challenges, I found it hard to select one. We all experience several challenges in life and ranking them can give the faulty impression some of them weren’t that painful. When I think about the different challenges I have experienced, I find two things that got me through them. 

The unwavering belief I will get through it. There simply is no other option than “getting through”. Like Winston Churchill said: 

If you're going through hell, keep going. 

That’s what I do. I keep going. I don’t even consider giving up or getting stuck in despair with my feet burning. When I go through hell I keep going. 

The other behaviour that helps me get through tough times, is looking beyond the misery. Finding the light in the darkness. This is one of the many wonderful things I learned from my mother. No matter how dark it is, there is always a light somewhere. 

As Elvis Presley sings in If I can dream:

Out there in the dark, there's a beckoning candle

That beckoning candle guides me out of hell. 

So my advice to my loved ones when they are facing difficulties is: 

Keep on walking. Hell has an end. The beckoning candle in the darkness will guide you out of it. 

If you want to read more about how to get through challenges, you are welcome to read some of the blog posts I have shared over the years on this topic. 

I thought I was prepared mum

Secure a happy ending

Of course it will work out

Tragic things will happen - and it will be OK

So much love, so much pain

Only life knows its length


How to find time in April: Use business cases

Do you ever wonder if you use your time well?

You can skip the guesswork and the endless discussions in your head.

There is a straight-forward method to making good decisions about your time.

This month I help you choose how to use your time by using Business Cases.

Find time in April by creating business cases for activities you spend time on.

List the values and the costs and then ask yourself if the business case is a good one.

If not – get creative and find new ways.

The business case concept is an important part of the Courageous Time Management method, step 1: Create your Foundation for Holistic Time Management. 

Use business cases whenever you feel you are not using time the way you would like to. They will give the clarity you need to use your time better. 

For more help to get more done with less effort and deeper joy, you can read or listen to my book Beyond Efficiency.

Do you already have the book and want to talk to myself and others about how to apply what you are learning? Join the monthly Timefinder Coaching Sessions!
Take care of yourself, your time and your life.