How to Get the Best From the Worst
Surprise at life’s unfairness defeats us.
You are who you are today, in large part, due to your responses to uncertainty, difficulty, and adversity.
You spend too much time resisting and too little time listening to adversity.
You can’t grow through what you resist.
You play a role in the resistance you encounter from people.
- Expecting others to be open to your way, while you’re closed to theirs.
- Focusing on what’s wrong with others and what’s “right” with you.
- Expecting others to like things you don’t. Being told what to do without being part of the conversation, for example.
Adversity continues when you become:
- Hard and harsh.
- Isolated and closed.
Spend your energy growing through adversity, not prolonging or escaping it.
Resistance prevents you from enjoying adversity’s benefits.
Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
5 questions for adversity:
- What can I learn?
- How can I grow?
- Who might know?
- How might I open up?
- What is adversity telling me?
10 positive shifts that follow adversity:
- Self-awareness. You see who you are in the fire. It’s likely you’re tougher than you think.
- Openness. Uncertainty opens your heart to learning.
- Expanded perspective. Life gets larger when you grow through adversity.
- Vulnerability. You better connect with others.
- Toughness. You learn to press through when quitting would be easy.
- Tenderness. You become more compassionate.
- Confidence. You don’t need the approval of others quite as much.
- Expanded capacity. Lessons learned in the fire become part of who you are.
- Value. Adversity makes you more valuable to others.
- Deep relationship. Real friends emerge in adversity.
How might leaders grow through adversity?
Excellent post – The most challenging times are the best learning times, if you can keep and open mind and not become defensive. It is also a great time to build relationships.
Thanks Bill. It occurred to me that many of the important lessons of leadership are learned in adversity. OUCH… 🙂
You can be strong and be compassionate, open and confident, at the same time. That takes practice. And I totally agree that real friends are the ones that are there for you through the very challenging times. Thanks for a great post!
A great post Dan! Obviously from one who has been THROUGH it (not around it) on multiple occasions. Like you and many others have said, it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you DO with what happens to you.
Dan, interesting that you should post this today. I woke this morning thinking about the firey passion that brings each of us into this world and how the people who parent us during our formidable years greatly influence our learning, thoughts and beliefs as we grow into adulthood. In effect during that short stage of the journey everything we know has been told to us, read by us, seen and absorbed via numerous mediums. What then on reflection if it turns out that that all you know by then is actually partly illusion and wrong ! What then do we actually know ?
By the time each child reaches 18 the people supporting them will have changed so much navigating their own adversarial relationships, no longer believing in the stuff they were told. They will have formed new truths and opinions and in a lot of cases not sharing them for fear of diminishing the original information that they had handed down. So they keep the old beliefs alive for in reality they know not what else how to do.
Possibly for radical change to take place we each need to be slightly deranged, unhinged, free from the ties that binded us together in order for a collective open and honest communication to be enabled. For it is the people of your future that you chose to associate with, the literature that seeks you out that will open doors in your mind, windows in your soul and fill your spirit with a vibrational energy that will propel individual growth.
Is it easy to deal with adversary, no it isn’t. But one never grows by staying with the old, only by embracing the new, releasing the past and focusing on the future, battling what is no longer fit for purpose and knowing that the best is yet to come – it may be a little off your radar, so from time to time you have to reset the co-ordinations not worrying if you input the digits wrong occasionally 🙂
Thanks Imelda for the excellent comment.
Thanks Dan for the nice post.Thanks also for Imelda McGrattan for the very valuable comment.Truly very important and inspiring points Imelda
Lots of good in this post..
. As you point out in the “self-sustaining” section this can easily be a dark hole folks (or I) can crawl into.. Reaching in is risky, but many grab on.
In dealing with folks who seem to be in this state I’ve found this starting point; “I’ve known you XX years and not seen this behavior, am I misunderstanding? I’m open to help, how do I best start?
I find too much error when I put together the pieces of someone else’s life, my assumptions about cause/effect are often different than their reality, so I must understand where they are for a starting point.
Occasionally I must do the same for myself, or find a trusted sounding board.
Leaders move others to better places, right?
Great ideas for how to deal with adversity. We can extract learning experiences from all parts of live, including (and perhaps especially) adversity.