How to turn life lemons into lemonade
Turn life lemons into lemonade and you will forever design the life you love. Doing it takes patience, persistence and positivity to find new dreams, passion and purpose. In this blog, I share a personal story of my son Shae Howorko, who was destined to live his passion for professional hockey, but one freak accident shattered that dream forever. Shae did come out of his life changing personal crisis, and is now again pursuing a new dream by helping others. The lesson to be learned is that if life gives you lemons, just make lemonade. Don’t give up on finding your purpose and what drives you. If one door shuts, just open another one. If you keep plugging forward and focus on becoming the best version of you, you will eventually turn those life lemons into lemonade. It’s that simple.
Hockey was a part of Shae’s life as long as he can remember
Hockey was a part of Shae’s life as long as he can remember. He was one of those kids who could skate almost before he could walk. Shae had natural talent, and at the age of 14, played with the prestigious Notre Dame Hounds helping his team win the TELUS CUP. By the time he was 16, he was playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and was one of the youngest players in the league. At the age of 17 he had the opportunity to play for Team Canada in the U17 Hockey Challenge. It’s quite remarkable to play in the WHL at age 16 and represent Canada at age 17. Doing so indicates you are on the right path to having opportunities in the NHL. Shae had talent and passion for the game and was gaining recognition with many scouts.
Sometimes, dreams don’t go as planned
The unfortunate thing is that, sometimes, dreams don’t go as planned, no matter the preparation or devotion. A few months into Shae’s second year in the WHL, at the age of 17, he got a severe concussion from a freak accident in practice. During practice, he had just finished a drill and had stopped to talk with a member of the coaching staff. One of his teammates stepped on a puck and fell into Shae, taking out his legs and causing him to fall back and hit his head on the ice. Shae had to stop playing to get treatment.
A new and difficult reality awaited Shae when he left the Broncos to move back home to heal. Constant headaches, frequent dizziness and exhaustion were ever-present challenges, but those physical symptoms were secondary to Shae’s dawning realization that he would not make it back to the team in time for the NHL entry draft. The day of the draft, a milestone event Shae had dreamed of all his life, came and went, with little improvement in his condition. He eventually came to the painful conclusion that his dream of playing professional hockey was gone forever.
For a few years Shae suffered with severe depression
A dark time followed. For months Shae suffered with depression, and couldn’t feel the slightest interest in hockey or anything else for that matter. That world, where he had believed for all his life he would find his place as a player at the highest level, was lost to him, and any contact with it brought up a difficult blend of emotions. Aside from that, Shae was still struggling to get back to normal as he dealt with lingering side effects from his concussion. Putting the game behind him, he focused his energies on recovering. Each day and each treatment brought incremental improvement until he was able to work a part time job, take a class, and start thinking about his future. As he healed physically and emotionally, Shae’s bright dream of hockey stardom began to seem like a thing of the past.
Shae did what it took to become the best he could
Shae did what it took to play at that level to become the best he could. He moved out of the safety and comforts of his parents’ home at the age of 14 to play hockey. He traveled all over Canada and North America – from rink to rink – for games and tournaments. He trained every day (winter, spring, summer and fall) to get that competitive edge. Having all the time, money and energy put into something you love and want to do, and have it taken away from you is a hard pill to swallow. When somebody works hard and does all the right things, you expect it to pay off.
The great life lesson is that there are no guarantees in life
But the great life lesson Shae got was the realization that success in anything requires good fortune along with hard work and dedication. There are no guarantees in life. The life changing accident was a good wake-up call as to how fragile life is – everything can go another way in a moment’s notice. You can walk out your door and get slammed by a bus, or a car. Or you could get an illness that cuts your life short… there are just things beyond your control, despite your best efforts.
So when opportunity knocks, you have to open the door – seize it with both hands to see where it takes you, regardless of the good, the bad and the ugly that may come with it. I could have limited my support of my son and he could have found other ways to pursue his dream or another dream. Or he could have lived with regrets, not knowing whether he could have made it playing professional hockey. For both of us, Shae not going after his dream would have been the worst option and not a good life lesson. Pursuing a big goal is vital in building character and learning about the purpose of life, which is to find and live your passion.
Pain from failure is temporary, but pain from regret will last a lifetime
I believe the pain from failure is temporary, but the pain of regret, from never trying will last a lifetime. I say this with absolute conviction because I have a good friend who was also a dynamic hockey player. He never had the opportunity to live his dream fully. He was told by his dad at a very young, “You are not going to continue to play hockey. You are just going to go to school and get a job and get a career as everyone else does.” My friend had the talent to become a great hockey player and make it to the big leagues, but he was forced to go down another path. I asked my friend how he felt about not pursuing his dream. Even though he was very successful and happy with his career and abundant life, he said he still harbors regret about never seeing if he could have made it as a professional hockey player, and the regret is very painful.
Whether Shae made it or not, he would either succeed or fail on his own chosen path, he would not live in a world of “what if”, full of regrets from not even trying. Shae seized the opportunity to find his true self and destiny. Now 9 years later Shae continues to drive forward to find his new purpose, and turn life lemons into lemonade. I am proud to say that Shae is now an athletic trainer, personal trainer, and hockey skills trainer. He has his own business, GOPRO Athletics Training, while he goes to university studying Kinesiology. His new path in life is to help other athletes go pro and make it to the big leagues!
When we are truly open to actualizing our potential, it may not look like what we envision at the beginning – but it always finds a way to express itself.
“Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it will be fish.” – Ovid, Roman poet
CALL TO ACTION – Learn to turn life lemons into lemonade
It is my mission you learn how to turn life lemons into lemonade. If you are going through a difficult life changing crisis… I want to help you develop a plan that is clear and actionable, and that you have access to the tips, tactics, tools and training to get through it and come out smiling on the other side. Don’t settle for what the world says is acceptable – instead, go for what you want and what you are capable of achieving.
Contact me for a FREE one-on-one strategy session about how to turn life lemons into lemonade. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 306-570-7321 to arrange a time.
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Be vulnerable – birth a new you – and live with no regrets!
Doug Howorko- Founder of ZAGGTIME
ZAGGTIME is the source for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs. We are a team of business bloggers and lifestyle enthusiasts impacting the world by sharing inspirational and practical insights for aspiring lifestyle entrepreneurs.