Choosing How to Respond to Life’s Difficulties

Happy Friday! I hope all went well this week, and I hope you were able to conquer any adversities you faced. I’ll be honest with you all, I was struggling with what to talk about today. Should I do another post on nutrition, talk about life, or feature a recipe…I had no idea, but then it hit me. Every day this week, the topic of optimism and happiness has come up at least once. I read about it in my current morning reading, Grit (which is a great book if you’re looking for a new one to start), it came up in a few podcasts, and it was even the subject of the priest’s homily on Wednesday. I figured this must be a sign that I should summarize what all these sources spoke about and offer some of my input from experience. So today, we are going to do just that and feature a recipe because who doesn’t love good food?

It’s inevitable. Poor situations will arise, adversity will come, and struggles will be had…but have you ever noticed there are some people that overcome these battles easier than others? It seems like there are individuals that can have their world crumble and manage to only come out with a scratch. What allows this to happen? The book Grit highlights a study where psychologists researched why this phenomenon occurs, and they concluded that those who faced adverse situations with an optimistic attitude faired better than those who did so with a pessimistic attitude. Can it really be that simple?

I’d like you to take a moment to reflect back on a difficulty you faced with pessimism and one you faced with optimism. Did you fair better in the hopeful situation? Chances are you probably did. From my own experience, I have come to realize this reins true. I used to be a very negative person. I thought the world was out to get me. “Why does everything bad happen to me?” and “What have I done to deserve this?” were the typical questions I would ask myself. To tell you the truth, it made me very bitter. I didn’t want to be around anyone, everyone always asked me what was wrong, and I would bathe in my sadness. Now, this may not sound like you, but I’m sure we’ve all had destructive attitudes before.

I don’t know exactly when everything changed, but I think it was when I got to college. I started to realize that there were things that were simply out of my control. Why was I letting them get to me and shape the rest of my day? Why should the fact that I spilt coffee on my notes make me bitter towards everyone else? Heck, it’s probably a good thing that I had to rewrite them because it would help me study even more. Why should you be rude to your coworkers for the rest of the day when your boss asks you to stay late at work? Yeah, it might have sucked that you couldn’t go to dinner with your friends that night, but when you got that promotion the following month for your hard work and dedication, that one night will have been worth it.

I can honestly say that finding the beauty in the ugly moments really changed my perception of what is important in life, and what true happiness feels like. When you stop giving attention to the little bumps in the road, you start to see how beautiful life around you is. You will begin to appreciate what you have, and you will start to find hope in the moments of struggle. You will begin to have optimism and find what makes you happy. Happiness no longer lies in the material items, the number on the scale, or the presents under the tree at Christmas. Happiness becomes the lasting memories you create with your family over the holidays, the realization to love what your body can do rather than what it looks like, and so on.

Contemporarily, we get so caught up in the little moments of today that we forget to focus on the bigger picture. I think if we decided to be a little more optimistic, we all could help the world be a better place. For me, I’d like to think that I’m using the lessons I learned as a pessimist and the unfortunate circumstances that arose out of that to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel…the bigger picture. I hope you all can take something out of this even though it might be a little all over the place. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Creating a community and sharing experiences can help us all begin to see the light in a world filled with darkness.

Key Points:

  • Just read it today 🙂


~Recipe Feature!

Healthy Bang Bang Shrimp

I think most of us have had the Bang Bang shrimp at Bonefish Grill…yum! I’m not sure if you know the calorie count of those babies, and you probably don’t want to! I decided to create a healthy version of it, which pairs great with cilantro lime rice and a salad, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli, or even served over rice with stir-fry vegetables! I hope you all enjoy!


  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
  • 6 Tbsp plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1-1.5 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/4-cup thinly sliced green onion, for garnish
  • 1/4-cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Pinch of sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 Metal skewers


  1. Preheat grill over medium heat.
  2. Evenly divide the shrimp among the skewers.
  3. Combine the Greek yogurt, chili sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  4. Once the grill is preheated, coat the shrimp skewers with cooking spray and place on the grill. Grill 2 minutes per side, or until pink.
  5. Remove the shrimp from the grill and coat with the sauce.
  6. Serve garnished with sesame seeds, cilantro, green onion, and a lime wedge.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1 Skewer with Sauce

Calories: 152 kcal

Fat: 1 gram

Saturated Fat: 0 grams

Trans Fat: 0 Grams

Cholesterol: 171 mg

Sodium: 635 mg

Potassium: 41 mg

Carbs: 9 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Sugar: 7 grams

Protein: 23 grams

Vitamin A: 4%

Vitamin C: 4%

Calcium: 9%

Iron: 10%



One thought on “Choosing How to Respond to Life’s Difficulties

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