In the days between Christmas and the new year, I found myself idly thumbing through Chris Evans' "Memoirs of a fruitcake" whilst recovering from a rather nice meal I cooked for my partner's birthday.
The book is full of interesting anecdotes, but the one that leapt out and hit me in the face was a story about my favourite visionary, Walt Disney.
Now Chris obviously never met Walt, but the story he tells is one of triumph over adversity.
In the early 1950's Walt was in a very precarious position financially. He had been declared bankrupt some time earlier by his own elder brother Roy, who did this in order to protect Walt and let him concentrate on what he did best, without having to worry too much about finances.
However matter were becoming serious and the company was some eleven million dollars in debt. Roy marched into his younger brother's office and told him of the situation and was surprised when Walt laughed. When he questioned his brother about why he was making light of such a serious predicament, Walt said "I remember when the bank wouldn't lend us one hundred dollars, have they really gone and lent us eleven million?!"
The book goes on to say that it was now clear to Roy and Walt that if they wanted to stay in business they would have to make a serious gesture towards the banks. As a result Walt agreed to do something he was dead against. ABC TV had been begging for years to buy the franchise to Mickey Mouse for a TV show, but Walt was very protective of his first and biggest animated star, and the last place he wanted to see him was in everyone's living room in a little glass box in the corner, but he had no choice, he had to let Mickey go to the TV network. The result was the incredibly successful Mickey Mouse club. The result of this unwanted deal was that it catapulted the Disney name high into the stratosphere to a level that even Walt couldn't imagine was possible.
With the proceeds of this success, Walt was able to not only finance all of his dreams, but also to buy out ABC TV too. And all this from something he didn't want to do.
How many times have you said no to something even though you couldn't see the bigger picture? How many times have you been unprepared to let something go? Sometimes your biggest disappointments can become your biggest triumphs.
It's not what happens, it's how you view it. To be alive is to have problems. It's all about how you deal with them, and move on. There are many people on cancer wards right now, men, women, and children, who would gladly swap all of your debts, all of your injuries, all of your woes, just for another chance at life.
Many things went wrong in 2011 for many people. The best of them will shake it off, learn their lessons, and rise up and above it and move on to success.
There is a wonderful first line from the 'Star Trek' 'Enterprise' series theme tune. "It's been a long road. Getting from there to here. It's been a long time, but our time is finally near"
I don't think it could be said any better. No matter how old you are, no matter what your past. The time is now, and tomorrow is yours for the taking. How will you live it? you have limited time! Enjoy every single moment. It is ALL precious.