“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”
― Ron White
You work on a fruit farm. Extremely hopeful for the future. You are grateful for the opportunity to work on this fruit farm. The work is satisfying and you are financially secure.
But one fine day, things took a nose-dive.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
You are assigned to the lemon department. All you get are lemons and lemons. You are keenly aware that your potential is unexploited and that you deserve better. The lemons are bitter as hell and your enthusiasm for the job slowly ceases, giving way to an increasing level of frustration, mental exhaustion and increased disillusionment with the fruit farm.
An older co-worker on the farm consoles you:“Don’t fret, boy.” He proceeds to throw a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Sometimes in life, you just gotta play the cards that you are dealt with.
Consequently, despite how increasingly unpalatable conditions become, you decide to remain positive and grateful for what you have. After all, you know of some others who are worse off.
When life keeps giving you lemons, screw it & get strawberries
(Note: Strawberries depict sweetness… not to be confused with the term ‘strawberry generation’.)
Two months later, after a tough day at work, you look around. Alas, many of your co-workers are gone.
You see a co-worker Barbara walking towards the gate and you shout out to her, asking her where she’s going. She turned back and responded with a smile of jubilation that she’s going to work on a sweet tangerine farm, which sounds a lot better than this bull.
Just then, in the distance near the edge of the farm, you spot Bob working on the adjacent wealthy and prestigious strawberry fields.
You run up to the fence and hollered out to Bob: “Hey Bob.. why did you leave us to join that farm? Thought you wanted to make the best out of what we have? Figured you were contented with the situation back here.”
“No, pal. I was grateful for having a stable job in the first place. And I remained positive whilst undergoing the tough and bitter conditions in the lemon department. But I was never contented. I knew I could achieve more… and here I am now, enjoying my time at a nice and cushy strawberry field”, Bob smirked with his arms widespread, gesturing to the sweet and succulent strawberries all around him.
You turn away, in awe of Bob’s achievements as well as feeling a slight hint of jealousy.
A couple of insights we can glean from this story…
1. Be Grateful
In life, many of us take whatever we have for granted. I’m guilty of this!
Sometimes, we fixate on what we lack versus what is already ours but yet are unappreciative of.
Don’t lament. Regardless of whether what we possess seems sufficient relative to others or not, I gotta be grateful. Regardless of how dire a situation can be, remain positive (at least try to). However, being grateful isn’t akin to being contented, which leads onto the next point.
2. Don’t be Too Easily Contented
While one can derive happiness from being in a state of satisfaction and ease, the pertinent questions are: How easily should we be contented with what we’ve currently got? Does it mean we just heck it all? Not realize any of our potential? Don’t strive for improvement?
Sometimes, we fixate on what is already in our grasp and miss out on potential opportunities to better ourselves.
Don’t be so fixated on that stupid lemon. Look up. You might just spot the sweetest tangerine in that bush not far from where you are, just within the reach of an arm length if you bother to shimmy to the edge of your chair and grab it.
Of course, if the pursuit of betterment of oneself culminates in utter despair and chronic worrying over failed goals, then it defeats the purpose after all. We can take a leaf out of Bob’s playbook. He remained positive in a crappy situation yet simultaneously strove for betterment.
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