I spent last Sunday on the edge of my seat, watching the Masters. I was thrilled to see Australia’s Adam Scott take the prize under extraordinary pressure. What an honor for him to be a first time Masters’ winner AND the first Aussie to claim that title! It was especially heartening after his devastating loss at the Open Championship last summer—when he bogeyed his last four holes to hand the Claret Jug to a shocked Ernie Els. It just goes to prove that when you get knocked down, you don’t have to stay down. And, that an even bigger prize might be just around the corner.
One of life’s greatest adventures is seeing what becomes of our trials. It may take years for us to realize it, but our toughest times might be preparation for something better. 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.
We saw another classic example of this in Louisville’s dramatic Elite Eight victory over Duke. During the game, star guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome leg break that left other players and bystanders in tears, some literally gasping for breath and composure at the sight. In the gut-wrenching aftermath, Kevin kept repeating, “Go win it, go win it.”
And, win it they did. After regaining their composure, the Cardinals delivered a second half performance for the ages, beating the Blue Devils 85-63. They would go on to win it all with an incredible victory against Michigan…with Kevin Ware offering inspiration from the bench. The victim became the encourager.
When you’re experiencing a personal trial, it pays to consider that some good might come of it. In fact, it’s one of the most profound lessons I’ve learned through the years—some of our toughest times might be preparation for something better. Consider these real life examples:
- My wife’s health challenges have prepared her to mentor others
- Blowing 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
- The employer who didn’t hire me conducted massive layoffs in the next year
- If my former girlfriends hadn’t broken up with me, I wouldn’t have married my wife!
These are but a few examples of life’s lemons turning into lemonade.
Don’t let adversity cause you to lose your edge. Remember, sometimes our greatest wins come from enduring our 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? Can you think of people you know who have experienced significant adversity? How has it shaped them for the better? Share your questions and experiences with our online community by commenting below; we’d love to hear your thoughts!