There we are, steaming through life without a care in the world. And then – BAM! We’re blindsided by a life altering event. The death of a loved one. The loss of a job. A life threatening illness. The infidelity of a spouse.

Suddenly nothing is the same. Did the sun rise yesterday? Have I eaten? Can I lift my head off my pillow? We find ourselves mired in a suffocating fog with nary a pinhole of light and no foreseeable future beyond the darkness of despair.

Ignore for a moment the mind and consider the human body as an entity. It is an amazingly powerful engine with a nearly incomprehensible list of fail safes. It has a drive to survive unsurpassed in the mechanical or digital world. The single element that can overpower the human body is the human mind. And therein lies the rub.

Our mind, fueled by emotions, has the power to completely alter the course of the body. You’ve seen it: the person who has everything to live for, yet takes their own life. Or conversely, the individual who by all medical expectations, shouldn’t be alive, yet refuses to give in and continues to live with triumphant strength.

A quote that has long inspired me is this Japanese proverb: We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. It is the perfect analogy here. Whether we’re faced with challenge or catastrophe, the very fact that it happened can’t be erased. It is what it is. Two paths now lie before us. We can give in and allow the event to take us down, wasting precious hours, days or years. Or we can find the first step of the ladder and begin the climb out of the hole.

It will certainly not be easy. Quite the contrary. It could be the most difficult job we’ve ever faced. But even one step is a triumph, not only for ourselves, but for those around us who might someday have to do the very same thing.

Dance every day, as if your life depends upon it. It does.

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