Isn’t it amazing how abundance can emerge out of the adversity which we abhor, which scares us to death? That the most difficult times in your life can lead to the most prosperous times in your life?
When you look at most of the world’s greatest leaders and success stories, a lot of them have tales of struggle and intense pain in their past. But often, the bigger the challenge or adversity that they experienced, the bigger the pendulum swung the other way for them.
Take the story of a nine-year-old black girl, born into poverty and who ran away from home, was raped, and had a still-born child at the age of 14. How far did that pendulum have to swing from that to the successful woman we all know today as Oprah Winfrey?
You’re always going to have some adversity in your life.
Life deals up the subjects, and you may not have a say in some of the things that happen to you or around you, but you always have control over how you react to the events in your life.
If you treat every situation that comes your way as an opportunity to learn and grow, and if you stay committed, honest, thoughtful, and authentic you will push through any obstacle in your life.
Just remember that all adversity is simply opportunity wrapped differently or camouflaged in some way, and that belief will steer you through the hardest of times.
One of the most important principles for living that has helped me through a lot of adversity and changed my life dramatically is this:
Who you spend time with and the environment in which you live will influence the person that you become.
This simply means that if you want to be a great person, first you must walk hand in hand, and side by side with great people. In other words:
- If you want to be happy, you must hang around with happy people.
- If you want to be successful, you must hang around with successful people.
- If you want to be rich you must find out what poor people are doing, and DON'T do it!
If you want to be strong and to be able to successfully navigate your way through any circumstance in life, then it is vitally important that you surround yourself with individuals who possess the character traits that you want.
If you want to be happy, you must first walk hand in hand with happy people !
There’s a great little analogy that explains perfectly how our environment influences us and how adversity makes us strong:
It’s the story of the Koi fish.
Take the koi fish and put it into a small fish-bowl, give it as much food and water as it needs and it will never grow to more than 2 inches in size.
Take that same fish out of the bowl and throw it into a lake somewhere and what happens to the koi fish? It grows to over a foot in size!
The fish grows proportionately to the environment in which it resides, (no different than you or me.)
When that fish sat in that little bowl and somebody was giving it food and water, it had an easy life. There was no threat to its existence. So it became lazy and comfortable. But the moment you put that little koi fish into the lake, there are other fishes in the lake and they only have one thing on their mind:
How fast can I eat that little koi fish?
The lake is deeper...
The water is colder...
So the little fish has no choice but to get stronger to survive and thrive, (also no different than you or me!)
Surround yourself with people who give you strength. People who support you in all your endeavors and who share your hopes and dreams, and you will find that even in the midst of adversity, you will always have a network of people to encourage you and motivate you to keep going towards your goals.
Don’t hang around people who will encourage you to give up at the first sign of trouble.
Persevere even in the face of extreme challenges.
When you can shift your perception and see the opportunity in every challenge in your life, nothing will keep you from your goals!