You can CAN!


You must have heard this adage many times:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

It is a jarringly cliched adage, one I personally find annoyingly pompous. Yeah right, I say to myself!

It is very easy to preach it when everything is going well. When life actually hands you a lemon, you are too busy giving vent to your sense of entitlement to think of making lemonade. You are too busy demanding answers of a reclusive divinity to think of converting a liability into an asset. You are too busy proclaiming to the world how you were done the dirty on by a malevolent universe out to get you.

And if life gives you a truckload of lemons- you curl up and play dead. Like THAT helps!

Here is Maysoon Zayid, to tell you how she won through her limitation and did not let it define her. Here is a practical demo on how to make lemonade of the lemons life gives you.





You have probably got something very different out of the video than I have. Our responses to stimuli are determined by where we are in our life journey. What I got is summed up by this quote:

Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.

~ Fred Rogers

The next time you are tempted to wallow in self- pity, as all of us do at times, think of people who realized their dreams, reached their goals, lived to the hilt. They didnโ€™t do it because they had no challenges and were given everything on a platter. They did it despite their challenges. They rose above their limitations. And that takes strength, not only of body, but of character- mind and spirit.

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

~Johann von Goethe

Donโ€™t let your weakness become your excuse for living a half life. You were meant to do what you want to do with all your heart. You were also meant to find a way to by- pass your challenges to get to your North Star. Your goal is not just to reach your goal; your goal is also to find a way out of the morass! That’s where courage is given wings!

You can CAN! Yes, you CAN!

Picture Mine
Picture Mine

22 thoughts on “You can CAN!”

    1. Iโ€™m usually one who looks at the positive side of a negative thing, but yes, when life hands me a lemon, the first urge is to sulk at the lemon rather than to cut it, squeeze it, add sugar and make lemonade. I do get to that part, but after the sulking. Maybe I realize it a bit late.

      One of the quotes I like a lot is, โ€œYou canโ€™t start the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.โ€ I donโ€™t know who said it, I found it on Google once, but it does make sense in the context of life, doesnโ€™t it? If you keep re-reading how the last chapter didnโ€™t end well for you, you canโ€™t take inspiration from that and start working on a new chapter, right?

      I take inspiration from these small things, and also like you said, from those who have succeeded. It is with that inspiration that I write what I write, when frankly, there are times I want to sulk. I could understand this post, Dagny, and Iโ€™m bookmarking it for the next time life throws me a lemon. Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Leo I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t sulk when thing dont go our way or our pet misconceptions are blown sky high. It is natural to mope; it speaks of our love for the thing we mourn for. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

        As long as it comes with a time limit.

        Too many times we take the setback as permanent. We frame it lovingly and hang it on the walls of our soul- in triplicate. And we mope; and mope; and MOPE!

        It is satisfying to play the victim. It pleases us to be the martyr. It protects us from further possibilities of failure. And it holds us down to an undignified level.

        From your writing you come across as a positive person. You may sulk initially, but don’t make a life long project of it. And that’s about all one can do, right?

        May life throw small lemons at you… ones you have no trouble converting into refreshing lemonade.

        Thank you for reading this… so promptly. ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. Pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ the title reminded me of the Micromax ad, I thought it might be a humor post at first ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it was a good read, and a positive one.

  1. I feel, wallowing is self-pity is tolerable only if you don’t make it a full time occupation, draining others with your why-me sob stories. Cry, sob, get up and just move on!

    1. Exactly Purba. Get a grip, get over it, get ON! Don’t make it a life- time project. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thrilled to see you here. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. What honest words, Dagny! At times we do enjoy sulking and wallowing in self-pity. No denying that. But then the challenge is in remembering that after we are done sulking as the first reaction, we need to pick up and move on. The video is amazing. She is so real, so authentic. So wonderful, she has such an amazing attitude. And great sense of humor ๐Ÿ™‚ If she can do it, we all can. Thanks dear for sharing this real inspiring talk.

    1. She really is something, isn’t she? There must be so many people around us who have refused to surrender their dreams to their challenges. Inspiration is all around us. Heroism is to be found in every defiant rebel! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for reading this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I do allow self pity a bit but down the line I have realized that it should never get the better of you. Not easy, but thats the real test isn’t it?

    1. One you’ve passed with flying colors Seeta. ๐Ÿ™‚ Truth is, I like my sulks. I refuse to give them up entirely. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. *Gulp*. I don’t think I always wallow in self pity. But I do drag a few people to have the lemonade with me. You being one of them ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course it helps if you have people who can give you that kick up the back which reminds you that YOU CAN do whatever you set your mind on. Great “Dagny” post ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. You needn’t gulp Sid. This wasn’t written for you… or for anyone else. This is just a ‘notes to self’ kind of a piece.

      “Dagny” post? Now what does THAT mean? Hmmm…!

  5. Firstly, this design is a massive improvement over the last one. Or if you have changed it quite a while ago then I apologise for not visiting often and delivering the desired admiration.
    Secondly, When life gives you lemonade, you question the life and ask it what the hell is this? You ask it when everyone else is getting lemons, why am I getting lemonade? You question life that now you are stuck with lemonade and you cannot use lemons to put in your pohas.
    Also lemons are important in a lot of ways, they tell us that life is not always about lemonades, they keep us in check before we assume that we are entitled to oranges.Also in great word of Sant Kabir,
    during the times of lemonade, no one thinks of thee
    but during the times of lemon everyone thinks of thee
    However if you do think of thee during the times of lemonade, you will not get lemons.

    1. Anuz, did I tell you recently that I love you? Where have you been, you rogue? You can’t disappear like that when you like.

      As for lemons and poha- ah! That combo is made in heaven. Aur fir MP wale poha par fida na hon aisa kaise chalega?

      Sent from my BlackBerryยฎ smartphone

  6. I am sorry I am very random when keeping in touch.
    Yes, I love you too.
    Oh yeah, the glorious Poha tradition of MP. I still remember stalls of Poha everywhere in morning feeding hundreds of students.

  7. vaishnavi ganesan

    There is Nothing called coincidence and everything comes to us in right time, like this post did!.
    I consider its duty to my self and to others to be happy, I shall choose HAPPINESS all over.

    1. Yes Vaish, there is nothing call coincidence. It all happens when it is meant to happen, in perfect tandem and sync.

      Here’s to your happiness! <3

  8. I completely agree with the post and your message, Dagny. Yes, there are times we will sulk. Yes, there will be times when the world will seem just too big, too difficult to live in. Who hasn’t had their share of griefs and challenges but what gets on to me is the constant wallowing in pity. If we don’t help ourselves, no matter what the intentions, no one else can help us. I talk from experience here. And no matter what our fate, we can always try and change things. We have to constantly strive for happiness. We have to take a step back and retrospect. And we have to dig our way out of the miserable pits that life or sometimes we ourselves have dug for us. Make lemonade or just sprinkle in the poha but don’t let those lemons rot :). Lovely post, Dagny, as always!

    1. Rachna, I think all of go through that phase of ‘Why ME God!?’ which is the root cause of wallowing in (self) pity. The longer we keep making ourselves out to be martyrs, the longer we will wallow. The truth is, we love to dramatize ourselves. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Thank you for reading this Rachna. ๐Ÿ™‚

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