Ever had a setback that you couldn’t have lived without?

I’ll bet you’ve cursed at a few.

Ever think of them as “SetForwards?”

We have all had setbacks in our life. If you’re like most people you’ve had more than one and probably many. Some may have been really big ones too that took time to overcome.

There is one thing for sure; you’re going to have more.

However hard a setback is the truth is that they are really setforwards in disguise.

What is a setforward?

A setforward is the opposite of what many think a setback is. A setforward always changes your thinking and changes your attitude about life. Setforwards teach us valuable lessons that we might not have ever learned without the challenge associated with them. Most people who have had a setforward as a result of a setback usually are grateful for the challenge. Setforwards propel us deeper into what we desire and at a faster pace than what we were previously experiencing.

Why do we all have setbacks?

It’s a truth that every adult alive today has had one or more setbacks. A setback is an experience that usually has some form of pain attached to it; either physically, emotionally or spiritually. The event that caused the setback is usually not planned and is totally opposite your expectation about the direction of your life.

Why are setbacks really setforwards?

Because most people are not actively looking to make discoveries about life that would actually help them achieve more out of it. But because they have big dreams, need to have events that shake them up to learn how to achieve them, even if they are not actively seeking it. What better way to shake up a person’s thinking and learning genes than by having a setback? Those with an attitude of openness to learn more about life will be receptive to the education a setback offers. Those with a closed attitude will view themselves as a victim of the setback. They will think life is conspiring against them to stop them and turn them away from their dreams.

For those who play the victim card as a result of a setback will continue to move backwards and never forward. They will leave life up to their own limited understanding about how it really works. The Universe though, or some call their Creator, will forever conspire to give us what we desire. A victim who doesn’t think they are responsible for their future, subconsciously desires to be a victim, will continue to receive setbacks from the Universe to remind them of what they already believe.

However for those who are open to learning from a setback will continue to receive them in some form as a way to learn more about how to move forward. The Universe will conspire to help them move forward just as much as it does to help the victim stay a victim.

What I’m grateful for with my recent setback

Recently I had an unfortunate and very painful and costly setback that I’m actually grateful for. Some history is in order to set the stage.

The goal of every triathlete that races the Ironman distance (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile marathon) is to race in the mecca, the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii. Because of my past participation in the sport of Ironman I was able to apply for a Legacy slot to race this October in the World Championship. I applied for the slot last November and would be notified of either my acceptance or denial on March 17, 2015.

On January 17, 2015 I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and  fix some damage due to arthritis. That surgery was my first setforward. From the knee surgery and subsequent rehabilitation I learned what caused this to happen and now became stronger than ever before in the legs and that would allow me to run faster and pain and injury free going forward. That was a huge setforward that would have never happened had I not been injured.

I was moving along with my rehab nicely when I was notified of my acceptance in the Ironman World Championship! I was going to Kona!

Because of my surgery I started to read a lot more about training methods and discovered a masterful coach, Dr. Phillip Maffetone DC,  who wrote extensively about the body and it laid out for me why I was injured and how I needed to train for Kona.

My before and post surgery xrays.
My before and post surgery xrays.

On May 8, 2015 I had another major setforward. I crashed on a training ride due to a freak accident and I fractured my clavicle. On May 12, 2015 I had my second surgery this year and now have 13 screws and a plate in my shoulder. I will have to wait 6 weeks before I can begin to really rehabilitate the shoulder. This was not at all in my plans.

From Dr. Maffetone, DC I learned about training in heart rate zones to create better health and race faster. Basically I had to slow down to gain better health in order to go faster.

With the shoulder surgery I’m only able to walk and ride my stationary bike.

However this is where the setforward applies.

During my walking I’m now able to make the transition into better running shoes. Had I not had had the crash I would still be training in my old shoes. With the new shoes I’ve actually gotten stronger and I’m walking faster and faster each day. My sport’s injury doctor, Robert Braden, DC was never for these new type shoes however with the results of my walks is all in favor of them now and even says it will help me substantially with my knee issue.

On my stationary bike going slowing I’ve improved my power output at the same heart rate by a whopping 41% in two weeks! Again, had I not crashed I would have never slowed down to this new heart rate and thus would have never received the benefit of this 41% increase.

I believe I will race Kona and hopefully have a personal best there. All because I’m now armed with the new knowledge that I gained from my two setforwards this year.

Now for you

I can’t explain how the Universe or our Creator knows what our needs are. I only know from many experiences of having setforwards that setbacks are for our benefit. I hope you’ll look at your next or even past setbacks as setforwards and begin to Achieve More Out of Your Life™.

About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: