We all know famous people who have overcome adversity, and achieved success like Walt Disney and Nelson Rockefeller, who overcame learning disabilities, and people like J. C. Penney and J. K Rowling who struggled through personal bad times before finding their true legacy. For most, I think it starts with having the survivor instinct, rather than accepting the victim role. Applying these principles should have a strengthening effect:
• Use the power of positive attitude and mindset. Developing a positive attitude about adversity seems essential to tapping its power to enhance and improve your life. A wise man once said, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.”
• Meditation is the art of letting go. Practicing meditation creaates and sustains your positive mindset. Don’t think of meditation in the classic Zen sense, as exercising or swimming daily is also a way of letting your mind go. You may realize that adversity is just another name for the series of choices called life.
• Communicate your goals and desires. A great gift of adversity is coming to understand that you can only resolve your problems when you share your life with others. You simply must reach out to others, or you will never overcome adversity.
• Practice sharing, not controlling. Don’t confuse the need to control with connection. As you truly connect with others – revealing, extending, and expressing yourself – the layers of adversity will peel away like an onion. Surround yourself with strong people who can help you get through the tough times.
• Acceptance is the key. Adversity at some point in your life is inevitable. The more you refuse to accept it and deal with it, the more you will lose. Denial and running away never helps. Those who choose to be strong, rather than choose to suffer, will overcome it and may actually thrive.
• Embrace the bounce. It’s all about being resilient. That means look beyond the challenges of the moment, and identify and integrate the new insights and convictions that adversity so often presents.
Your challenge is to turn adversity into success. You have to be both creative and patient to discover the multiple solutions that will unravel the knots of your adversity. In these ways, you will move ever closer to mastering it, and be that much more at peace.