When something crummy happens in your life, do you ever just sit back and ask “why me?” or think to yourself “I don’t deserve this!” When the going gets rough, it’s hard to see past our own circumstances into the “master plan” that may lie ahead of us.
None other than Walt Disney, the master of happy, once said, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Funny thing—when I look back on my greatest adversity, I’m struck by how often I actually benefited from it! It just didn’t feel that way at the time. It took retrospect for me to realize that the hardship was really for the greater good.
One of life’s greatest adventures is seeing what becomes of our trials. Was it a necessary lesson to grow us? Might it be the catalyst for something new and better? Will it ever make sense? Or, was it just…stuff?
Take these examples:
- My wife’s health challenges allow her to encourage others facing similar battles.
- Bombing my calculus final exposed my math limitations and motivated me to select a better fitting major.
- A difficult investment performance period taught me important lessons about humility.
- All those times girlfriends broke up with me…Hey! They freed me up to marry Jeanne, my wife!
Who knows, when life serves you a lemon, it might just be the makings of a refreshing glass of lemonade. At least give it a shot! It doesn’t hurt to change your perspective and open your eyes to the potential impact that a seemingly impossible situation might have.
What is your own personal perspective on adversity? When you’re faced with a tough situation, how do you deal? Do you have any examples of times that a trial has turned out for the good, or somehow strengthened you as a person?