Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

When Life Hands You Lemons… Learn Alchemy

When life hands you lemons (courtesy of Richard X. Thripp)All too often, our circumstances are defined by what other people tell us is realistic or feasible.

The old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” is a perfect example of this paradigm.

What if I don’t like lemons?

What if I’m not in the mood for lemonade?

Too bad, the logic goes, those were the cards you were dealt. You’ll just have to make do with what you have.

Nope. Nuh-uh. Not any more. Not for me.

When life hands me lemons, I’m making orange juice.

In other words, I better learn alchemy, because I have some lemons that need to be turned in to oranges.

Isn’t it about time that we were a little more inventive and creative with our problem-solving? Let’s stop being reactive, and start being proactive.

Very rarely, in any given situation, is there only one way to work through a problem. As Seth Godin wrote in the book Linchpin, “There is no map.”

Most successful people, when they’re honest, are “making it up” as they go along. So, why do you have to play by the rules? Why do you have to conform to someone else’s standards?

Why do you have to make lemonade?

You don’t.

(Now, friends, I’m all for being realistic and persevering through difficult circumstances; all I’m asking you to do is not settle.)

Learn alchemy instead.

Photo credit: Richard X. Thripp

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.

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