The 3 Things I want You To Know About Overcoming Adversity

August 22, 2013

The 3 Things I want You To Know About Overcoming Adversity People ask me all the time, “How did you do it?” “Do what?” I usually reply. They’re asking about my accomplishments. But the accomplishments in my life feel like the footnotes in a mystery novel that I’ve been reading for the past 30 years. The real heart of my story—the part that keeps me on the edge of my seat dying to know the ending while being forced to dig for patience as I sift my way through each chapter word by word, is the adversity I face and find myself overcoming; not the accomplishments I achieve from time to time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
He forgot to mention that sometimes the journey sucks. In any journey you will face adversity. What I want you to know is that you will overcome it—especially if you’ve got guts. And if you’re reading my blog then I’d like to think that you’ve got guts. Specifically, here are the three things I want you to know about overcoming adversity when it strikes.
  1. You will want to quit. You will wonder why you even got started and you will swear on your life that you’re finished. You will be tired. You won’t sleep much. You might need to take Ambien. You will either gain weight or lose weight. You feel will sluggish. You will snap at your loved ones and if you’re lucky, they will still love you. You will tell everyone that you are quitting. You will sit on the floor crying with a bottle of scotch. You will wonder how on earth you will ever overcome this.
  2. You will be afraid. You will fear the present but you will develop a greater fear of the future. You will fear your lack of patience, knowing your need for patience. You will fear the unknown. You will fear inaction and you will also fear action—afraid of making a wrong move or taking an incorrect turn. You will fear a loss of everything you have worked so hard for. You will be afraid that you have nothing left to give. You will be afraid that your creativity is all dried up. You will fear the possibility of never having a good idea again.
  3. You will wake up tomorrow with at least one new idea. You really will. It might be an idea of someone to call or someone to write to. It could be an idea of a new flavor to create or a new code to write. An idea of something new to research or an article to read. Maybe it’s an idea of somewhere to volunteer or a book you can write. It could be an idea of a new business to start or even just a new meal to cook.
Whatever the idea is, it will come and when it comes it will infuse you with a sliver of hope, a will to go on, and a rumble of excitement. And in that moment that you reach forward towards a new day; you will already be overcoming adversity. What challenges have you faced that you've overcome?

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