A universal truth is that life is filled with challenges. Problems and obstacles are part of every life.
Chuck Schwartz has certainly had his share of challenges, but through his personal journey he recognizes that life doesn’t always go as planned, and that there are gifts to find within one’s challenges. Schwartz wants to support and inspire others because he said, “It’s what you do next that matters most.”
What he “did next” was write a book titled “Chuck’s Lemonade, A Recipe for: Inspired Thinking and Living, Finding Gifts When Life Gives You Lemons, and Turning Your Lemons into Lemonade!”
Recovering from a divorce, Schwartz had moved to Austin, Texas, to start a business with his partner. He put everything he had into the business and was ultimately betrayed by his partner, who caused the business to fail. “I had survived a battle with debt and divorce, and this felt like going through a second divorce,” he said.
He began to reflect on all the challenges he had faced in his life – the guilt and anxiety he acquired in his childhood, the challenges of getting married before he was 21 and raising kids while feeling like he was still a kid, working at a job he hated to support his family, and ultimately risking the relationship with his children during his divorce.
Schwartz discovered that it was cathartic to write about his challenges, so he started a blog.
“I checked my ego at the door,” he said. “I exposed myself and wrote about my challenges every day. I began to get followers, a few at first, then more and more. That was the first initiative. Then I started journaling and every day I answered two questions: ‘What am I grateful for today?’ and ‘What would make my day great?’ I would make lists, and when I actually started doing what was on the list, I started having great days.”
In December 2017 Schwartz and his wife, Renee, came to Hilton Head Island to celebrate New Year’s Eve. They brought in the New Year by writing down all their worries, challenges and issues. They put them into a little wooden box and threw it in the ocean. “Then we looked at each other and asked, ‘What are we waiting for?'” The decision was made to move to Hilton Head.
Schwartz said they were sitting on the beach one day, and he was on his computer writing his blog. He remarked to his wife that he literally had hundreds of blog entries, and the idea to write a book was born.
Schwartz has developed a “recipe” for Chuck’s Lemonade and the purpose of his book is to offer support and inspiration to think differently, grow and move forward.
To learn more about Schwartz and for more information on how to turn your lemons into lemonade, visit chuckslemonade.com.
Edwina Hoyle is a freelance writer in Bluffton.