Hello dear friend!

Something happened to me the other day that I wanted to share.

My bike got stolen.

My brand new triathlon bike that I got a couple months ago.

My several thousand dollar bike that I had worked hard to save up for.

I had it locked up to the bike rack on the back of my car parked in a high school parking lot. In the hour that I was playing basketball in the gym, someone came and cut the lock and stole the bike.

Why did this happen to me?!

As I stood there in disbelief at the back of my car, I felt awful. My heart dropped in disbelief and the negative thoughts started racing through my head...

  • What kind of lowlife would do that?

  • I was planning on riding with my friends this weekend – there goes my plans!

  • Now I have to go through the hassle of getting a new bike and all the time, effort, and expenses that goes into it

  • This sucks!

  • But I worked so hard to save up for it...

  • What a bummer.

Before I gave fuel to these thoughts gaining dangerous speed, I caught myself.

I'm a firm believer that things don't happen to you, they happen FOR you. It's a belief that I've worked hard to condition daily through mindset work – focusing on consciously letting go of old thought patterns, affirming new ones, and spending time in gratitude and reflection. Every seemingly bad event that's happened in my life always has some silver lining. Not only have I gotten good at looking for the silver lining now, it's become habit. I keep a spool of silver thread in my pocket and weave it myself.

Why? Because with everything that happens that is seemingly negative at first, there's ALWAYS a nugget of wisdom, a gem of gold, an opportunity to grow, a challenge to rise to, suffering to overcome, a time to trust the process, a chance to practice a higher vibration, a frame to switch up, a perspective to elevate.

So as I stood there in the dark, looking at the cut cable and my empty bike rack, the knot in the pit of my stomach began to release. No need to dwell on it now, the bike is gone – out of my control. What's in my control is the way I feel about the situation and the thoughts I think that dictate my feelings. How can I respond to this event in a way that actually makes me feel good? And just like that the starting pistol of a new race fired off.

So let's start this email over again from the top with and re-frame and slightly different perspective.


Hello dear friend!

Something happened FOR me the other day that I had to share.

My bike got stolen.

Why did this happen to me?!

  • What kind of lowlife would do that?

    • I feel genuinely sad for whoever is living in such a place of desperation that led them to do such a thing. What if they were in a life or death situation and I was able to give them life? Might be a stretch, but I'll take it!

  • I was planning on riding with my friends this weekend – there goes my plans!

    • Well, I clearly wasn't supposed to be riding this weekend...Who knows what could have happened on that ride, what if this actually saved my life?

  • Now I have to go through the hassle of getting a new bike and all the time, effort, and expenses that goes into it

    • My entire life will forever be different. My direction is completely changed. Who or what is waiting for me at the bike shop when I go get another bike? What conversations or insights will I have in line at the cafe next door to the coffee shop that I otherwise wouldn't be at? Future wife – is that you?!

  • This sucks!

    • I know for a fact that I will NOT remember this on my death bed at the end of my life, so why stress it now? It's all just material stuff anyway...

  • But I worked so hard to save up for it...

    • I know exactly what I have to do to get another one now and that I'm more than capable!

  • What a bummer.

    • What a first world problem! How lucky am I, that THIS is a “bummer” in my life? My body is physically healthy and able to bike in the first place. In a world where 3 out of 5 people don't have access to clean drinking water and sanitation, how fortunate am I? What a great opportunity for me to reflect on all that I DO have and all that I am grateful for. Maybe I'll share this experience and inspire others...

So THAT'S why it happened!

As Abe Lincoln so beautifully said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

With every event that happens, there's simply two ways we can look at it. I choose to see the beauty of the roses blossoming amidst the prickly thorns. I choose to see and deeply BELIEVE that my bike getting stolen actually saved my life and perhaps the life of someone else. I choose to ask myself “why did this happen to me?” and find the purpose behind it – the meaning, the takeaway. Life is my teacher and I'm that one passionate student eagerly at the edge of my seat waiting for the next lesson (if only I were this person in actual school). The glass isn't half empty or half full. The glass is always full, even if it's full with air ;)

I'd challenge you to take a quick moment of reflection to ask yourself – what was something seemingly bad that happened that actually led to something good? What's a coincidence that led to something beautiful or meaningful?

Go smell those beautiful roses.

With Love,
Joshua

Please pray for the recovery of my grandmother Rachel bat Hanina