You might be in a storm right now, have a storm on its way, or see your storm in the rear-view mirror. Regardless of the relationship you have with adversity, your attitude towards it makes a world of difference.
Since adversity is unavoidable, why do we have such a hard time accepting it as the way life is? Truth is, the quicker we accept adversity as “normal,” the quicker we’ll gain a healthier perspective and experience deeper growth in our lives.
When my world was rocked by driver error, a storm erupted and continues to blow. Surgery number nine is coming up in two weeks and with it more fresh pain and a steep climb up the hill of physiotherapy.
To get my head and heart around this next storm, I’ve adopted certain attitudes to keep me grounded and growing through the wind gusts that are coming. Here are just a few of the attitudes I’ve adopted and have found to be my companions through a variety of storms.
1. Keep the long view in mind
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami
2. Courage is born through adversity
“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” Mary Tyler Moore
3. “Normalizing” adversity lightens the burden and creates opportunity
“There’s a partnership between perceived deficiencies and our creative ability so it’s not about sweeping under the rug the challenges but finding the opportunity wrapped in the adversity…Perhaps if we see adversity as natural, consistent and useful we’re less burdened by the presence of it.” Paralympian Aimee Mullins
4. Adversity strengthens our resolve to keep moving
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am. I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.’” Joel Osteen
5. Inner beauty is formed through trials
“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
6. Adversity turns up the volume on our ability to hear God speak
“God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain!” C. S. Lewis
7. Adversity creates a useful learning laboratory
“A person who has had a bull by the tail once has learned sixty to seventy times as much as a person who hasn’t.” Mark Twain
8. Adversity tears away non-essentials leaving what really matters
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Arthur Golden
9. Adversity shows our true character
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” Randy Pausch
10. Adversity is one of the pathways to success
“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” Zig Ziglar
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison
In your experience, what attitude would you add to the top 10 list?