First: Accept that adversity is part of our life
If we look at successful people, we can always see that they are usually not those who never faced failure at all in their life. In fact, some of the most successful people in this world we have heard of started out poorly, and in fact have failed many times.
For example, the most famous basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan was just an ordinary person before he joined the NBA and he was even being cut out from his school basketball team because they said he is “lack of skill”.
The greatest inventor in history, Albert Einstein was thought as mentally retarded when he was young. He didn’t speak until he turned 4 and didn’t read until he was 7. His grade were so poor in school that his teacher actually asked him to quit his school.
There are so much more other great failures that famous people made. Do you know Walt Disney very first cartoon production actually went bankrupt? Do you know Henry Ford’s early businesses actually failed and has left him broke five times before he founded Ford Motor Company? Do you know Winston Churchill actually was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the prime minister at the age of 62?
Successful people do not whine or complain over the adversity. Furthermore, they do not attribute their hardships to others. By accepting the adversity as part of life and never put blame onto others, they are actually moving the locus of focus back to themselves and allows them to take charge of their life.
If everything happens because of uncontrollable elements other than ourselves, then we will definitely feel weak. On the other hand, if we accept things and put back the locus of focus to ourselves, we will definitely feel that we are in charge of our life and we can make a drastic change in our life today. It is this kind of feeling which gives sparks to all the wonderful things in our life.
Second: Find the lesson hidden in adversity
In the last article, I shared the 27 most powerful believes with people, for them to use as seeds of inspiration in daily life. The number 1 most profound belief as shared in the article is “Everything happens for a reason”.
We often learnt the best lessons in our life in some of the most difficult time. Thus, we should view such adversity in life as a disguised gift, wrapped up in the name of problems. When we ask for bravery, life gives us fear; when we ask for strength, life gives us tests; and when we ask for opportunity, life shows us the deficiency. As you can see, the most precious gifts in the world are always wrapped up in some sort of negative things. Peel them away and you shall get what’s within. It is indeed a blessing to be able to see through it and learn whatever life has to offer us.
Third: Learn the alternatives to overcome the adversity
If you have read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by Stephen Covey, you would know and probably agree that “Be Proactive” is important.
When we face adversity in life, we do not sit and wait for things to change by itself. We brainstorm, we think creatively to come up with a plan to turn the table and to change the game. This is perhaps, to me, the most interesting part of our life where we learn and grow.
There are so many ways to learn the alternative out there. For example, if you are not satisfied with your current financial situation and you would like to learn the alternatives to bring more income by using your free time, then perhaps you should do more research about it. The easiest way is to just Google it! You can read tips and suggestions from many others around the world. Blogs and related articles can help you to widen your horizon.
If you want to get more insight about something, go to forums for discussion. Forum is a great place for us not only to absorb information from the others but it is also a good place to build network. You can meet people who are starting out just like you and both of you can be partners because you both are sharing the same goal. With a greater talent pool and skill sets, it is more likely you can do more and achieve your goal faster.
It’s even greater if you can go for books because all the info is already well documented and this helps you to learn something step by steps unlike just reading random articles here and there. By all means, you can also attend seminars or online courses available within your reach.
I purchased courses online quite frequently mainly just because I want to achieve or to solve something systematically and efficiently. I can research and find the answer by myself via Google, but often, I think it is wiser just to invest in online courses because that would shorten my path to success a lot faster.
Forth: Evaluate the options faster
Most of the time, we do not proceed further because we simply do not know what are the options available to us. However, there are times where we already know our direction but there’s simply too many channels we can use to arrive at the final destination. We tend to stay still to do evaluation first before decided to take up anyone of these options. Evaluation of options is important, planning is important, but the most important things is always action because results only derived from our actions.
Avoid being a perfectionist. To have something done perfectly, it means that we will have to plan very much into the details of everything. This also means that we will have to look into the different possibilities and ended up taking more time. It is important to plan ahead but remember to do it reasonably. You can’t be possibly take into accounts of everything before you act. It is just unpractical.
Launch your plan after it is considerably thought after and then adjust and learn new things along the way. If we were to learn every single thing before we proceed, we might ended up with nothing or lost the opportunity as others would have grabbed it away before we do.
If the evaluation of option is a challenging task for you, then perhaps you have encounter a dilemma in terms of values and beliefs. When you have difficulties in prioritizing your values and beliefs, it is going to be hard for you to make a decision.
For example, a person might be facing a dilemma when he really wants to study abroad but then this also means that he cannot work and contribute financially to the family. So, if he does not have clear ranking of values and beliefs, he will have a hard time to convince himself to pick up a choice which is the most suitable one in his own opinion.
We will go through quite a lot of dilemma in life, so do not be frustrated about it, take it as a golden chance for you to know yourself more. If come to the worst, you are unable to make a choice logically, then just close your eyes and follow what your heart is whispering as there’s one saying “our heart might be on the left but it is always right”.
Fifth: Make uncertainty interesting.
Well, sometimes we know what the best is for us but we just can’t seem to pay the effort to do it. Some people said it is because of the fear, to be specific, the fear of failure. But most of the time, it is not that serious to the extent of being in fear. We just simply not motivated to put it into action because we know the plan might work but the problem lies very much in the “might”.
Doing it might bring us good, but it is not 100% guaranteed that it will be successful and this is the mindset which stops a lot of people from reaching their maximum potential. Human beings are gifted because of our ability to simulate scenario, the worst case scenario. It helps us visualize potential hazards around us or to foresee the challenges which might lies ahead of us, so we can protect ourselves by avoiding it. It is a great gift but sometimes it works in a negative way and disempowering our lives, unconsciously.
When we tell ourselves, “wow, look at this project, it might bring a huge changes in my business”, our same awesome mind will always, in the speed of light, throw us the question “what if it does not work out at all?” and this usually ended all the sparks which could have change our lives. We have inner conversation all the time and by asking ourselves a question can be either empowering or disempowering us. Thus, be very careful at the question you ask yourself.
It is hard to monitor our conversation as most of the time it happens unconsciously. However, effort can be made, habits can be formed to monitor and to influence the way we talk to ourselves. Yes, it is achievable, just don’t take my words for it, go and try it yourself.
If you are wondering why there are a certain things keep happening on you like a cycle, for example procrastination, giving up on great opportunity frequently and regret later on, or unable to blend into a new social circle, then perhaps you can start observing your inner conversation in respective situation. What did you ask yourself last time when you decided to delay your project? What did you say to yourself when you decided to give up? And, what did you tell yourself when you enter an unfamiliar social circle? Those are the sparks which lightened your action. Change the sparks and you will change your action.
Next time when you ask yourself “what if it does not work out as expected?”, change that question and ask yourself again “what happened if it works out great?” A simple shift like this will change your focus and triggers images or visualization which actually now motivates you and empowers you to move forward. It is amazing, isn’t it?
Sixth: List down the values of overcoming the adversity
A lot of times, we do not move on with the plan in our mind because the clarity of values is not there. And, when the clarity of value is absent, then we will flow together with whatever that comes to us. This dangerous because we might be heading towards the opposite direction. Thus, we will have to halt and really think about the values of overcoming the adversity.
People who value lives will be much willing to travel far from home to aid those people in need, while people who values justice will do whatever they can to make things right even if their life is being threaten by other parties. Only when the values of overcome the adversity is higher than the value of leaving it as it is, we will decided to move forward.
We very often look into the monetary value only. However, from my personal experience, emotional, intangible values are usually the most powerful values in lives, even greater than the monetary values. Just for an example, I have seen those tops salesman achieve wonderful sales amount not mainly because they own some extraordinary skills but they are so passionate about their product and they truly believes that the products can help people to change their lives in a better way. It is their enthusiasm which set them apart from the rest, from their competitors. They simply do not afraid to receive rejection from potential clients, in fact they receive more rejection than the others, yet they are the one most motivated to move forward and to move fast each and every day because deep down, they have the values clearly lies within them.
As a conclusion
There’s always ups and downs in our life and we can never run away from adversity. The faster we decided to face it and to do something about it, the faster our lives can be changed according to our will. As usual, I hope my articles can help to inspire you to achieve greater success in life. If you do think that this article is valuable to you, please do me a favour and share this with people around you. It will definitely encourage me to come up with more great content for you, my friends. Thank you for reading.
Darren Chow author