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"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance." ~ Yoko Ono

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Everything we go through in life, both good and bad, happens for a reason. We do not have much control over what happens, but we can control what we do about it. It is important to understand that life is like the changing seasons. You cannot change the season, but you can change yourself. Personally, I am not a big fan of winter. Even after 15+ years in this country, I have never gotten used to the cold weather. I always dread the cold weather. But the truth is, there is nothing I can do about the winter. The only thing I can do is make sure that when winter comes, I have whatever I need to stay warm and deal with the cold. Likewise, when we find ourselves facing trials and tribulations, our focus should not be on the challenges we are facing, rather on how we are going to deal with them.

I would like to share with you some great lessons I learnt years ago on how to deal with life's changing seasons.

Lesson #1: Learn how to handle the winters (challenging times) because they come after fall

We should learn how to deal with challenges because they come right after a fall. We should make it our goal to acquire skills and habits that will make us stronger, wiser, and better to deal with challenges when they come.

Do not waste too much time focusing on your challenges, lest you miss out on the opportunity.

Lesson #2: Learn how to take advantage of the spring (opportunity).

Just like spring comes after winter, opportunity comes after challenging times. I believe that when one door closes another one opens. Regardless of how difficult a situation might seem, there is always going to be an opportunity to be taken advantage of as long as we can maintain the right attitude. (By learning how seek opportunities during those challenging moments.)

Lesson #3: Learn how to nourish and protect your crops all summer.

Once you have seized your opportunity you need to cherish it, protect it, and defend it just like a farmer would his crops. A farmer would do everything necessary to protect his crops from bugs and diseases. The same, you should protect yourself from those people who will want or try to put you down. You should put in all the effort to make sure that the opportunities you seize become fruitful.

Lesson #4: Learn how to reap in the fall without complaining.

At this point, you must take full responsibility of what happens to you (good/bad). If you have done well, you should learn how to reap without apology. Never feel sorry for your accomplishments. But it you did not do well; you will still have to learn how to reap without complaint.

Just like the seasons, nothing lasts forever. I know too well just how difficult it is to remain optimistic during challenging times. But I can attest to you that once you gain a better understanding of how life's changing seasons work, it is possible to be optimistic and still go through challenges. One thing I have learnt is that you must be grateful for the hard times because it is in those times that you get to learn new things. I know I am grateful for my hard times because they have helped me become the strong person I am today, and they have opened my eyes to seeing opportunities and things that I could not have otherwise seen.

PS: "Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times, you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons."

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