Reading time: 6 minutes
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
What is adversity ? Have you ever thought about that?
Some professionals will say that adversity is a suffering or a bad situation which most of us will face at some point during our lifetime.
Maybe if they’re really honest, they will admit it has a scholarly tone.
A phrase that sounds as if Mark Austen earns an A, while a paper that could’ve been written by James Ashford scores a B (or worse).
Adversity is probably not at all what you might think it is.
This is how it really is for most of us.
Imagine a hundred thousand souls in a dark, wide-open space.
They look like happy people trying to get around in life but many have blank stares on their face.
They are so depressed that they aren’t aware of what’s going on around them.
Many of them appear as if they are trying to achieve something but in real life they’re not; they’re just milling around, stuck in their rut of life, there’s no happiness on the inside, no life purpose.
Instead of reaching out to other people for help and advice, they stay stuck and avoid change, because it seems too hard.
Some people in the midst of such a situation end up taking their own lives, others don’t because they believe they would pay the price in the afterlife.
And for some doing nothing leads to addiction to alcohol or drugs, or other more simple addictions like food, and are often unwilling to let go of it.
They have to keep receiving the experience of their addiction, thinking it will, it must help. And it never does.
If you made it this far reading, well done, you just went through a real life experience of what adversity looks like and maybe you can even relate, just a little?
Your Life Is The Choice You Make
An ancient scribe wrote:
“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
Most of us will face severe and difficult situations in life. And it can be like a punch in the gut.
But let me ask you something.
When life punches you in the gut, do you roll on the ground, weeping and moaning?
Or do you stand on your feet and keep going?
The good news?
You can make the best out of any adversity that life throws at you, even if at this moment it all seems hopeless.
And you have the power and possibility to always set new and positive goals, and achieve them.
And starting from this moment I’m going to show you how you can use adversity to your advantage.
1. Find the why
When adversity strikes, how do you react?
Do you accept defeat and fade away?
Personally, I think the first thing to do when this does occur is to figure out the big “WHY.”
Why is this happening to you? Would it have happened if you hadn’t taken a certain step that you took?
I believe asking the right question and thinking through the situation will trigger the answer we’re searching for.
I want you to take a moment and reflect on the Why?
And then start thinking about the solution to that problem.
I don’t know what obstacle you’re facing in life right now, but it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that your life can change if you’re willing to look at adversity differently.
You’ve got the strength to overcome any problem, mistake, and misfortune if you’re willing to find the big “WHY” and the exact solution to that problem.
Mistakes often are the best teacher. In a real sense, a mistake is another way of doing things.
2. Recognize the gain in pain
One of the main problems that people have with pain is that they’re too quick to judge an isolated situation in their lives and label it as a failure, instead, they need to recognize the value of pain.
Can I be honest with you for a moment?
Pain is one way the universe gets your attention. There’s no mistake, only lessons and if you don’t learn the easy lesson, they only get harder.
I want you to recall the time you made one of the biggest decisions in your life, chances are, there was a fire in your belly and that’s pain.
If you respond to pain in the wrong way, you’ll only get weaker, not stronger; the only caveat is that you have to keep the right mindset.
For example, Tim Ferriss recommended that you lay down in a public place like a supermarket or a public shop.
It might make you look like a fool but the reward you reaped conditions you to deal with embarrassment and discomfort in the future.
It takes the pain of discomfort to do that, but the reward is gratifying.
So, beginning now, learn how to respond to pain positively by finding where the reward is. Don’t think about the pain of completing that task or reading a whole book.
Instead, think about the life changing experience that awaits you once you get that done. In a real sense think of the reward. If you do that, you’ll be fine.
3. Change your belief patterns
Why do some people overcome great adversity and become triumphant in life while others, despite every advantage, turn their life into a disaster?
Well, it all comes down to one thing, some choose to change their belief patterns, in spite of their situation, while others don’t.
In a real sense? You’re what you think and believe. You can’t be greater than your thoughts.
People who succeed, don’t have fewer problems than people who fail. Remember what the scribe said…time and chance happened to them.
If you want to triumph and make the best from adversity in life, you have to start focusing on the way you present information to your internal receiver.
No matter what’s happening to you, see the good in that situation and develop a positive belief.
A man in history named Job suffered the worst case scenarios, lost all his family and property within a day, and yet, despite all the pressure and pain he went through, he chose to believe in what’s true.
The same resources available to the people mentioned above are also available to you.
I believe we all have fears and faith. Choose to starve your fear and feed your faith. Faith will bring you positive beliefs that will lead you to a successful life in the long run
4. Forgiveness is key
Can I be brutally honest with you for a moment?
You can’t get ahead in life while you’re trying to get even.
Forgiveness doesn’t just set you free to move ahead in life, it helps you to get rid of all the bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, along with every form of malice.
Find the courage to forgive your enemies, and if you’re the cause of the situation, forgive yourself.
By doing so you’re setting a prisoner free and who knows, you might just discover that prisoner is you.
Real forgiveness should be like a canceled check; torn in two and burned so it can never show up again. It’s like a past you’ll never return to.
So, starting from this moment, search your mind, and go through all the issues of life mentally.
What are the experiences that cause you pain? Put your mind into a mode of awareness and simply start releasing them by saying I choose to forgive.
Only then can you affirm these words:
“From henceforth let nothing trouble me, for I bear in my mind the mark of forgiveness.”
What happens if you’re the cause of the situation? First, forgive yourself and then try to reach out to the people you offended and make things right.
It doesn’t matter if they agree or not, what matters is that you’ve done your part by letting them know you’re over the situation and moving on. If you do that you’re free.
Then it becomes their decision if they’ll let go or carry the guilt, but you’re free!
Practice these things and you’ll find rest for your soul and peace and happiness will flow back to you and you’ll be able to move on in life.
Truth be told, the best place to build your well of blessing is the place you’re hurting the most.
And to be able to do that, you’ve got to be willing to make important decisions at the time you face obstacles and difficulties in life.
Adversity : you’re stuck in a place where you can’t move or can’t do all the fun things others are doing.
Counterattack: to keep you from anxiety, find inspiration to move on by reading books and biographies of overachievers.
Sun Tzu said it so well:
“If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him.
Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”
If you adopt that same strategy, you’ll transform your own life and experience a genuine moment of grace.
You can turn pain to your advantage and live a freer and happier life. But it will happen only if you make it happen.
So with that said. Go make it happen.