Turning Adversity Into An Advantage


The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Life is filled with painful moments, personal trauma and tragedy – like illness, the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or an unexpected breakup of a relationship. These can all leave their scars. They at times can break the spirit, mark the soul and leave the heart in a million pieces.  What doesn’t kills us makes us stronger right? Well, in your moment of strength, those tiny pieces that have become the casualties of whatever broke you, are gone! Your only hope is to pick up the pieces that remain and move on. This is when the reality of deciding IF the capacity to be happy again and become stronger to move beyond those hurt is truly there.

 


The story by Michael Josephson about the egg, carrot and coffee is one of my favourites in how to adapt and handle adversity or rather how adversity handles us. Here’s a new take on an old story. Consider how a carrot, an egg, and coffee beans are affected differently by the extreme adversity of being placed in boiling water. 

We aren’t always able to control what happens to us, but we have a lot to say about how we react to what happens to us. The first step to turning adversity into an advantage is to get out of the hot water as quickly as possible, don’t be like the frog and get comfortable in the boiling water. Don’t dwell on catastrophe. Grieve, but move on. Don’t define your life by misfortune. Life has so much more to offer.

Like a carrot, adversity can soften us. We can emerge more flexible, understanding, compassionate, and grateful, or we can let our life spirit turn into a soft mush.

 
Like an egg, boiling water can make us harder, stronger, tougher, and wiser, or we can become more cynical, pessimistic, callous, and inaccessible.

 
And like a coffee bean, we can willingly transform our lives into something better or lose ourselves completely.

 Force yourself to move forward by drawing on your inner strengths, holding on to the people who love you, and keeping your faith while using it to transform your life into something better. Formulate a vision of a more purposeful life filled with people and experiences that will help you become more fulfilled. Life isn’t always about what happens to you, it’s about your resilience.

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©Etta  D. Richards

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