The Bright Spots – February 12, 2016

Hello Countryside friends!

It’s cold outside, and I’ve had the kind of week that parallels the weather. Despite what the groundhog said last week, spring feels pretty far away and I can’t wait to walk around outside without having to bundle up like the Michelin Man!

It’s times like this when I look to my co-workers both here at Countryside and in the HR community to keep me pointed in the right direction! One blog in particular that seems to hit home in these moments is “Mark & Angel Hack Life” (sign up here:

Their post today was pretty timely for these dreary days of winter and I wanted to share “7 Things to Remember When Life Gets Tough (and you feel drained)”

“Oftentimes things have to go wrong in order to go right. In fact, if the road you’re traveling is always easy, you’re likely going the wrong way. Some part of you knows this is true. Nevertheless, when life gets especially rough, it can be hard to remember…

Truth be told, we all experience hard times, and we all get through them eventually. But some of us get through them more easily than others. What’s the secret? Most of it has to do with mindset. So here are seven important things to keep in mind when life gets rough:

1. These hard times are making you stronger and smarter. – It’s usually the deepest pain that empowers you to grow to your full potential. It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up being the most worthwhile. Without pain, there would be no change. But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released.

2. You are not a helpless victim. – You are the creator of your own experience. Yes, it is unfortunate that sometimes bad things happen to the best of people. Life can be unfair, unkind and unjust. However, being stuck in a victim mentality does not nurture your ability to move onward and upward. You’ve got to stand back up and take positive steps to heal and grow. (covered in the “Pain & Hardship” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)

3. There is no such thing as failure (only important lessons learned). – You should just wipe the word “failure” right out of your vocabulary. All great people who have ever achieved anything have “failed” over and over. In fact, Thomas Edison once said, “I never once failed at inventing the light bulb, I just found 99 ways that it didn’t work at first.” Take your so-called failures and learn something from them. Learn how to do it better next time.

4. If you don’t get something you want, it just means something better is waiting. – This is hard to believe sometimes, I know. But it’s true. Oftentimes, when you look back at your life you will be able to see why it was actually good that something didn’t work out. Maybe the job you didn’t get would have made you spend more time away from your family, but the job you did get was more flexible. Just have faith that everything happens for a reason. It may not be obvious at first, but it will make sense eventually. (covered in the “Happiness & Positive Living” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)

5. Things can and will change. – “And this too shall pass” is one of my favorite sayings. When we are stuck in a bad situation, it may seem there is no way out. We think nothing will ever change. But guess what? It will! Nothing is permanent. So get out of the habit of thinking that things will always be this way. They won’t. But, remember, you do need to take some sort of action for things to change. It won’t magically happen all on its own.

6. If you want things to change now, you need to start by changing yourself. – Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Do you know people whose lives are unnecessarily chaotic and stressful? And isn’t their situation largely because they feel chaotic inside? Yes, it is. We like to think that changing our external circumstances will change us. But we have it backwards – we need to change ourselves first before our circumstances will begin to change. (covered in the “Goals & Growth” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)

7. Anything is possible going forward. – Miracles happen every day. Really, they do! I wish I had enough space in this email to write about all the miraculous things that have happened to people I know – from healing stage 4 pancreatic cancer to having their soul mate appear out of nowhere in the most unlikely place. Trust me: it happens all the time. You just need to believe it does. Once you do, you’re halfway there.

And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track.”

Another great thing to do when you’re not feeling so hot (physically or mentally!) is to reach out and help someone else. Some wise words…


“So then you decide, ‘Well, I’m sick of myself.

I’m going to think of how other people can be happy. I’m going to get up in the morning and think, what can I do for even one other person, even a dog, my dog, my cat, my pet, my butterfly?’

And the first person who gets happy when you do that … you.”

– Bob Thurman (1941 – )
American scholar and Buddhist monk

Countryside, via our Annual Campaign, gives you a forum to do something for others. Whether you volunteer at a campaign event, attend the gala or sign up for payroll to deduct a bi-weekly contribution, you are making a difference in someone’s life via our outreach and other programs. Your supervisors will likely be talking about this over the next few weeks, and I’ve attached Our Mission Impact Statement if you need a quick refresher on the items that are funded by the Campaign. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in working as an Ambassador for the campaign, please reach out to DEBRA PHILLIPS or ANITA PELLETIER for details on trainings, etc.

Also, congrats to NANCY HALSTEAD who was our Bright Spots Gift Card winner for January! I’ve attached the cards for all who received a shout out for being awesome!! Please keep turning them in!

Stay warm this weekend and be careful out there on the pavement!



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