Life certainly has its ups and downs. And sometimes, we’re faced with challenges and events that seem particularly daunting.
Unfortunately, many people spend far too much time and energy making these challenges wrong and lamenting their adversity. What we need to do is acknowledge what’s happened, assess how it impacts us and the people we care about, and navigate our way through it.
In doing so, we gain strength and build character. And that’s almost always one of the benefits of overcoming adversity.
Think about some of the challenges you’ve faced in your life. At the time, they may have seemed overwhelming. But most of them probably turned out ok and, in fact, may have even had a silver lining.
At least on a cosmic level—and almost always on a practical level, everything we have in our lives is because we created, promoted or allowed it.
One could argue that nobody creates an airplane crash for themselves. And no one is responsible for a child’s leukemia. But ultimately, we ARE all responsible for our lives. And many of the things we would be unwilling to admit that we created, we often promote or allow to continue.
If everything has purpose and meaning, and everything can serve to teach us what we need to learn, then I think it’s a useful belief that we are largely, if not completely, responsible for everything that happens.
With this approach, we can stop blaming ourselves and others and put the focus on making the changes we want instead of lamenting, complaining and bemoaning our circumstances.
In business, in life, in politics and relationships of all types, the real problem is usually the RESPONSE to the perceived problem—and oftentimes, it’s the LACK of response to the problem.
Think of the Watergate break-in. That was a problem for the Nixon re-election campaign. But the bigger problem was how they handled the problem. Bill Clinton’s affairs were a problem, for sure. But lying about them in a federal court case got him impeached—and almost convicted.
We are all faced with problems every day. And it’s our attitude and our response to these problems that determine our success or failure.