“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth
may be the best thing in the world for you.”
We’re just now coming out of the holiday season where the focus is often on joy, peace, love, and hope. That’s all well and good on a Christmas card, but we can’t gloss over the fact that, in the midst of all the cheer and goodwill, some people are going through very tough times. In our every day world, many are dealing with any number of personal tragedies or crises that are magnified during the supposedly festive season. Financial hardships. Divorce. Illness. Job loss. Estranged family members. You name it. Bad news can come at any time to you or me.
One of life’s greatest adventures is seeing what becomes of our trials. At our bleakest hour, it’s hard to fathom that something good might come of our challenges. Often, though, this is precisely what happens.
One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned (but certainly didn’t appreciate when I was younger), is that good things often arise from our most difficult times. It may take years for us to realize it, but our toughest times might be preparation for something better. Consider these real life examples:
- My wife’s health challenges prepared her to mentor others who are experiencing similar issues.
- Bombing my calculus final made me aware of my math limitations and motivated me to select a different (and better fitting) major.
- A difficult investment performance period taught me important lessons about humility and how to service clients in tough situations.
- A heart attack victim’s extended hospital stay gave him the needed time to reflect on his life and repair broken relationships.
- The employer who didn’t hire me conducted massive layoffs in the next year.
Periods of adversity don’t always turn out rosy, but it happens more often than you’d think. You just don’t know it while you’re living through it. Experience tells me that, more often than not, something good will come from something bad—even if it’s a needed life lesson. That’s why, even when things look bleak, I still hope for—and believe for—a happy ending.
When you’re experiencing a personal trial, it pays to consider that it might be preparation for something greater. After all, our greatest character growth comes from enduring life’s greatest challenges!
Consider some of the major life trials you’ve experienced. Are you able to see some good that came out of those periods? How was your character affected by it? Can you think of people you know who have experienced significant adversity? How has it shaped them for the better? Share your experiences and encouragement with our online community; we’d love to hear from you!