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3 Ways to Turn Adversity into Opportunity

January 3, 2021
Leadership Advisory

Personal fortunes and futures are impacted by the economy, politics, business and a host of other things, but those events do not have the final word on the matter; you do.

Playing football as a child was a favorite sport, but waiting to be picked by a team made me cringe. Unless you were endowed with special athletic powers, you probably share that dreadful feeling of being the last person chosen.

Dan Marino was chosen last in the 1983 NFL draft. He wrote about the experience saying, “I made a decision not to be bitter at the teams that passed on me. Instead, I chose to count my blessings and focus on the opportunity at hand.” Marino set a record 96.0 passing rating, the greatest ever for a rookie quarterback and that record still stands today.

Adversity is a crucial shaping experience we must all endure as defining life events. It is the friction that provides the energy for our journey toward becoming our best and discovering our personal destiny. It is a gift of sorts in that it wakes us up and creates awareness of our surroundings; high definition vision of what we’ve settled for in life.

Watch out for that mind thief trying to rob you of your aspirations. He will whisper to you that things are changing and the opportunities are not what they use to be. Shut him up. Yes, it can be disheartening to hear the negative evening news. Who isn’t disturbed by 60,000 people being laid off by Citi Group? That’s a whole town of people. And, the stock market crash has become a daily event. Then there are the leaders in Congress who want to give away more of the money you haven’t earned yet to bailout people and corporations who have been irresponsible in their spending. As they say down South, “It’s enough to make a preacher cuss”.

Consider this:

Ask change a question. Ms. Change, during this time of chaos, what are you asking of me? Whom can I serve? Who do I trust to advise and mentor me through this? What talents do I have personally to help myself through this crisis? Where is my opportunity? Am I doing what I love? Am I being the person I set out to be? Finding the answers to questions like these may take time and effort, but a worthwhile investment it will be.

Like Marino, make the better decision. You can decide to loathe your self. You can decide to blame the idiots who messed up your life. Or, you can decide to count your blessings. Decide to focus on the opportunity at hand. Yes, opportunity surrounds you and it is the duty of adversity to reveal it to you. That’s the thing about adversity handled well. It will present the opportunity to change directions, to purse that which has been put off. It is time to focus on achieving higher levels of success in your life. Make adversity count for something.

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