Adversity An AdvantageAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer
Adversity is defined as misfortune or difficulties. So how can something that is a misfortune or a difficulty be an advantage to you and I? William Hazlitt in his wisdom answers this question:
"Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater."
We all face good times in our life, where we are prosperous. And yes to get to this position we do learn. But where the learning becomes greater is when we face adversity. That is when some of the greatest life lessons teach us so much more than if we got to the top and stayed there. When you do achieve success that does not mean you will never again be faced with difficulties and challenges; just ask any successful person! And, you will also find successful people will tell you that the greatest lessons learned is when they faced adversity.
We Learn More
We always learn more from challenging times than from good times. When faced with a difficulty our brains are working to try and resolve the problem. But when things are going good we are more relaxed, sometimes we even coast, and we rarely have the pressure of trying to figure something out. We enjoy the good times!
But when things are not going so great we try and learn what is causing the challenges. We work at resolving and improving our situation. We use our own experience, we look at how other people have handled the situation, we talk to others. Even as we sleep, our subconscious mind is trying to find a solution to our adversity.
We have this experience all the time in our business, and with the websites. When they are doing well, we do not learn as much. But, let me tell you, when they drop in rankings or have issues, we are researching and reading to try and correct the problem. We talk to our colleagues and find their experience with the problem. We experiment and try different things that we would never do it all was going okay. And as we do all this we are learning, we are actually improving. We see things and we correct things that we may never have seen when everything was going well. Honestly, I can't think of one adversity when it comes to our business that we did not learn from. When your income is tied to a business and the income disappears overnight you truly have an adversity. It is difficult especially when you don't know why it happened. But also you quickly start trying to figure it out.
Adversity A Good Thing
Adversity is the catalyst that forces us to stretch. It propels us to find solutions to problems we never would have considered if not for adversity. Again, using the websites as an example, when faced with adversity, we look at them in an entirely new light. We try things that previously we would not have even attempted. This is true of any profession or situation. In trying to resolve our issue, we stretch ourselves. And sometimes we all need to be stretched, we can become complacent in our actions and our thinking, but when faced with a difficulty it soon wakes you up!
Adversity can provide the fuel that sparks new strengths we didn't realize we had within us. We can sometimes amaze ourselves if we don't get hung up in feeling sorry for our self. If we have the right attitude and look at adversity as an opportunity to discover and teach us new things, we will find strength that we did not realize that we even had.
How Do We Cope
How we cope with adversity is also a learning experience. There are times in all of our lives where we have handled adversity well, and times where we have not.
Some people just give up. They may try a few things and find that what they tried didn't work, so rather than keep going they quit.
Keeping a positive attitude when faced with adversity is one of the secrets of success. Rather than give up or be discouraged, if we keep a positive outlook we will find solutions to our issues will come much more easily. When our attitude is one where there is good in every situation we find our mind looking for the good, our minds realize once we fix this problem it will make everything stronger. This is a much better and less stressful way to cope. If we had a negative attitude we would be asking why did this happen to me. With that type of thinking we become stressed and our thinking is not as clear.
Our Attitude Towards Adversity
Our attitude plays such an important role in our lives. Our attitude towards adversity will determine our success or failure. But when faced with difficulties our attitude becomes critical.
We can have a "blame" attitude, one where we don't accept any responsibility for what has gone wrong. We fill our mind with excuses and focus our mind on looking for someone or something for the reason of our challenge.
We also let our pride stop us from getting help. Rather than asking others to help us when we face the adversity we become embarrassed or ashamed to admit that we are having difficulties. So we keep the adversity to ourselves and don't get the help we need. It's like driving around in circles not knowing where we are going, rather than stop and ask for directions, we keep driving and driving. Wasting our time and energy. But if we had just stopped and asked someone for directions we may have been just around the corner from where we needed to go. The same is true for us, there is always someone who has faced the same adversity we are facing; by asking we could save ourselves a lot of frustration and stress.
We can have a "poor me" attitude and sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We moan and complain to anyone who will listen to us. With this type of attitude we stay stuck and solutions are the last thing on our mind because we are to focused on ourselves to see beyond.
Some people have the attitude that it is just to much work to fix the problem. So they just give up, they quit. They defeat themselves before they even attempt any ideas or solutions that could fix the difficulty. They accept the status quo and do no more.
Then there are those who follow Hazlitt's quote. They see adversity as a teacher, and they know there is something they can learn. They pursue the difficulty and work endlessly to fix it. They do not give up. Do they like adversity? No, none of us do, but, they do not give up. They use each adversity as a teacher accepting it has happened, learning the lesson, but continuing to move forward which in the ends makes them stronger and makes their business stronger.
Be Thankful for Adversity
No one goes through life without facing adversity; it is part of life. Next time adversity strikes, remember, you can use it to your advantage by learning from it. Let adversity be a teacher to you. It will build your character and will test your determination! But, in the end, it will make you stronger.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time." Robert Collier
"Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then." John Wooden
"Challenges are our biggest teachers. Nothing teaches us more in life than challenges." Brenda Nathan
"Let me repeat: how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own 'happily ever after.'" Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Before tasting success, you are likely to face many setbacks and failures. But the trick is to never let go of your enthusiasm, perseverance and positive attitude." Joseph Parker
"There are no circumstances, however unfortunate, that clever people do not extract some advantage from." Francois La Rochefoucauld
"Positive attitude is more of a philosophy that builds on the fact that having an optimistic disposition in any circumstance of life can help you in enhancing achievement and positive changes." Dan Miller
"Your best teacher is your last mistake." Ralph Nader
"Positive thinking does not mean that there are zero problems, but it means that you can cope and recover more easily, while at the same time you are able to look at a brighter side of any situation." John Franz