What I Learned From Two Broken Jaws

In today’s short post I’ll share what I’ve learned from breaking both my jaws (no gory pics I promise!). I originally wasn’t intending to write this article until an accomplished author told me that we always undervalue our own stories. And yet those are the things we know best. So, I thought I’d mix it up this week and share a few life lessons from a recent rough patch.

Six months ago I had my upper and lower jaws (and chin) broken. As part of an orthodontic procedure to correct an underbite and straighten my teeth, a surgeon was required to break and reset the bones for optimal alignment. I’m still a little numb in my chin as the nerves regenerate, but overall I’m back to normal. And the braces come off in November so the end is near!

Here’s what I learned from all this, and hopefully you can take away one thing that makes a difference to you (without having to break bone to get it):

1. Savour your meals!  When you can only drink fluids and liquid morphine, you get pissed off and angry pretty fast.  And then you think about the starving kids we see on TV. There are millions of people out there hungry every single day with no end in sight. You are lucky – enjoy your meals. Don’t rush. Savour the moment.

2. Just do it. Don’t overanalyze every big decision. I knew going into this that breaking my face wouldn’t be pleasant, and I also didn’t want other people’s stories to become my own. Initially I checked out one person’s blog about her surgery and that was enough!  Had I kept going I may have chickened out, or at the very least planted seeds of doubt about going through with it. Sometimes in life you just have to take a leap and the net will appear. Trust the process, you know? Every decision doesn’t require hardcore research and analysis.  Once you’ve made your choice, don’t agonize over whether or not things will work out. Worry achieves nothing – think about the end goal instead.

3. You are stronger than you think.  I spent two rough days in hospital after my surgery.  Three weeks later, my wife and I packed up and moved into a new house.  Three weeks after we moved in, our first child was born.  It was a chaotic time!  And we got through it.  You are far more resilient than you give yourself credit for, so don’t back away from fear and doubt when things get challenging.  Move forward aggressively and tackle them head on, you’ll surprise yourself.  It’s empowering.

What have you learned during the challenging times in your life?  Share and comment below.

Have an excellent week!

Ian

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