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“If I didn’t have pain in my life, I wouldn’t be alive.”

Ouch – what a mindset! If there’s ever been a sentence to push back on, that’s it!

The July series, The Land of No, is focusing on divine dissatisfaction. We all know what dissatisfaction is, but what makes it divine? The fact that you go past the point of complaining. You work with your internal GPS to identify the next, best step. Then you take it.

This is what happened to Clive. His biggest distributor suddenly cancelled his contract when they were bought out by a national company. The more he looked at the numbers, the more likely it was that they might not survive. He started talking with his accountant about bankruptcy.

Clive and his wife were out for a walk after dinner when he started to replay the situation. He told me, “I said to Marla, “I’ve got to get the new owners to offer me a contract. I’d even take a pay cut. I just… Before I could finish my sentence, Marla cut me off.”

“A pay cut!” she shrieked. “Wait a second. You were a great vendor for them for years. OK, maybe they couldn’t tell you that they were getting bought out, but they knew they were your primary customer. They led you to believe everything would stay the same.”

“And when the buy-out came, they just cancelled your contract. No period to wind down the relationship. No bonus for years of service. Honey, please. I say good riddance to supposed partners like that!”

“It was like someone threw cold water on my face,” Clive said, his eyes growing wide. “The coffee shop deal was a lucky break the first year we opened. Losing that contract three years later was awful, but it was the moment I grew up. I didn’t need to fold my business; I needed to fight for it.”

“By the time we got home, my whole outlook had changed. I have a great product. I’m a trustworthy guy. I want a distributor who gets that. I didn’t want to beg a random corporation 3,000 miles away to bail me out.”

“I connected with a hotel who doesn’t have a pastry chef on site like the big chains. They made me pare up our product line for a 6 month trial – pastries for their breakfast rotation and cookies for the coffee station that’s open to guests all day. To tell you the truth, it was a good challenge. Who knows where it will lead. One thing I do know is that I’m up to the task.”

It’s time to say no to learning only through struggle, frustration or being let down. Circumstances like constant pain simply aren’t our natural state. They’re a warning that something is off, and you need to get back in alignment.

This week, find some different building blocks. Do you want a bold future? Your new teachers – joy, mindfulness and dedication – are here to help.