“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz
Success in life depends upon being strong people with clear goals and indomitable spirits. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t born that way. We grow that way. And that growth can either come from us entering willfully into situations that will cause us to grow, or from the way we react when circumstances come upon us without our consent. The latter is what we call adversity.
Most of us spend our lives trying to avoid adversity, and I guess that is just as well. We shouldn’t pursue adversity, but when she arrives, we should welcome her as a foe who, through our interaction with her, will make us into better people. Every contact we have with adversity gives us again the opportunity to grow personally and professionally and to forge our character into one that will achieve much later on.
With that in mind, here are some thoughts on adversity, and how it can help you to succeed in every area of your life and achieve your dreams.
Adversity brings out our resources. Horace said “Adversity reveals genius; prosperity conceals it.” When everything is going well, we coast. There isn’t a lot of stress, and we don’t have to draw too much on the resources that reside within us. But when adversity comes we begin to draw upon each and every resource that we have in order to conquer the circumstances at hand. Adversity then, keeps us sharp. It keeps us using our personal muscle, if you will. That is a good thing because we grow through the use of our resources.
Adversity brings us together with others. Sure a team can have their problems with each other, but when they step on the court, when they experience the adversity of facing another obstacle, they pull together. One for all and all for one, as they say. The next time you experience adversity of some kind, keep your eyes open for how it can bring you together with your family, your co-workers or your team. Then when you are through it, you will find a bond that was created that wasn’t there before.
Adversity makes us better people with stronger characters. Never underestimate the power of adversity to shape us inwardly. How will courage, discipline and perseverance ever flourish if we are never tested? After adversity, we come out stronger people and able then to use our character and influence in an even greater way to lead those around us and to improve their lives as well as our own.
Adversity makes life interesting. John Amatt said, “Without adversity, without change, life is boring.” How true. Have you noticed that while we are in the middle of adversity we only long to get out of it, but we then spend a lifetime recounting it to anyone who will listen? This is because it spices life up a little. Imagine how boring life would be if everything always went well, when there was never a mountain to be climbed.
Question: If you are in the middle of some adversity right now, what resources are you drawing on? Who are you drawing closer to and working with? What part of your character is being tested, and built up? What can you do to view this adversity as one who will be better for it on the other side?
Remember the words of Napoleon Hill: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Believe it–it is true!