Were You Promised A Rose Garden?

Sometimes life just does not go your way. I know I’m not the only one who can attest to this fact. When it does not go as planned do you accept defeat or do you brush yourself off and carry on? Did someone promise you that life would be a rose garden?

iStock 000022085288 Small Wild Rose

When Lynn Anderson recorded Joe South’s song ‘Rose Garden’ in 1970 it shot straight to number one on country hit charts around the world. It even got to number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Why?

I think it is because the song, if you will pardon the pun, struck a chord with so many people. It still does. Just read these lyrics.

I beg your pardon,
   I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
   There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
   Or let go.
I beg your pardon,
   I never promised you a rose garden.

That’s life is it not? Few of us are promised anything in life. Certainly not the proverbial rose garden. We are lucky if good parents or strong personal willpower got us to a point where life could give us some sunshine, but we are guaranteed that there will be a little rain sometimes. As the song says, in life you will always have give and take.

Life is a funny thing. When you think that it is all coming up roses and you are bathed in sunshine it has a habit of sneaking up on you and dumping some rain on your parade.  As Woody Allen said, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

When you do fail, when things don’t go your way, what do you do? Do you let it keep you down? No. You should live and let live. Accept it as part of the process. Most importantly you should learn from it and then move on.  This seems like really good advice. We were not promised anything. However the world – and your little corner of it personally, at school, in your business – can still be a rose garden.

Do you think about future ‘rain’ when the sun is shining?  What do you do to be ready for the challenges of leading an organization or keeping yourself motivated to reach your goals when things are not going the way you planned?  Are you being honest with yourself about the preparations you are making for the rainy day?

I would love to hear from you with a comment on this post, and always welcome you sharing it with others.

I live in the Cayman Islands and I'm married to Christina. We have two incredible children, Ryan, attending Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and Taylor, attending Trinity College School, in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. I own several businesses in Cayman. My list of 'pasts' include past chairman of the Cayman Islands Special Economic Zone Authority, past president of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and past president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

Please note: I moderate comments and reserve the right to delete or edit those that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Were You Promised A Rose Garden?

  1. Great Article David. It reminds me of this song and wanted to share it. A life with some pain is God’s way of growing us Spiritually mature in Christ. Listen to the story behind the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5ljV_RA0CM

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  2. Being an aspiring research scientist….failure is inevitable, it’s just part of the research process. You have a question and you design ways to answer that question. If you are SUPER lucky, what you try works the first time. The much more likely result is that it won’t, not the first time….or the second…or maybe even the third time. Every time this happens you have to go back and adjust your approach. I’m always asking myself “is this the best way to do this? am I using the right tools? am I making any assumption that are confounding my results?” This applies to non-work problems too.

    I find the best thing to do when I hit a road block, or when it starts to rain as you say, is first to stay calm and breathe, then to review my “protocol “(technical term meaning the steps I took to get where I am now) to identify any error I may have made or ways I can improve it. Second, ask for help! Chances are someone’s already tried to do what you’re doing, or has done something similar. I find out if this is the case and ask them for their advice. Third, but related to the second, is to lean on my “circle of support” i.e. the people around me that I am comfortable with and I trust to give me an honest opinion. Sometimes, you just need to vent your frustrations and talk it out. This often helps me find a new perspective on things I’m having trouble with. And, finally, if I’ve done all that, and I feel that there’s absolutely nothing else I can do to solve the issue…I walk away from it. Once in a while this is necessary. Maybe you will come back to it one day or maybe not, but sometimes you just have to let go….

    hmm…that was more introspective than I thought it would be!

    • Wow. That is a blog post in itself. I love the contribution and sharing with the small community that may visit this starting site. We all have our ways of dealing with the up and down of life and reading of yours will be of interest to others in your field I’m sure.

      I should have you do a guest post on my blog sometime soon. Would you consider it?

  3. Rose Garden…hmmm… You have NO idea how clearly that is resonating for me today. I am overwhelmed with how many things are beyond my control today, and how little things are turning out the way I want, I planned, I hoped….so keep the wise musings coming!