“Use adversity to your advantage.”

One of the things that I have been trying to be really thoughtful of as of late, is what I put into my mind.  I have become more thoughtful about the media I consume, the people I surround myself with, and how I spend my time.  If those things are positive, my thoughts become positive. Physically, I know how drained I become when negative thoughts enter my mind, so I try to continuously be thoughtful of how the two (physical and mental) are so connected, and to try and stay as positive as possible.  Some days are easier than others, but staying mindful is an important step.

Recently, I have started to listen to several playlists and podcasts with advice from “successful” people (“success” being used as a very personal term), and it has given me a lot to think about.  One of the quotes that stuck with me was “use adversity to your advantage”, which is a powerful statement for many reasons.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”, he says the following:

“What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.”

It is a powerful statement on how our struggles, if used correctly, can actually be used to our benefit. For that to happen though, we have to own our struggles.

Thinking about this, I have really tried to push people to think about something that they do now, that they swore they would never do.  There are many things that have become commonplace to me, that were once a struggle.  It is quite powerful to recognize this, because you not only see where you have grown, but you remind yourself that you have the ability to grow as well.  It gives us perspective on the past, present, and future of ourselves.

How this is also beneficial, is that it helps us to lead others if we use the memories of our own adversity when trying to understand where they are at currently. We can empathize that each one of us that each of is on our own  journey of learning and growth, and that what you might now see as your norm, might be someone’s first step.  We remember that as human beings, we are all different places in our lives, and what is important is not necessarily  where we are, but that we are moving forward.  Recognize and celebrate that in others, and their willingness to grow will only accelerate.

It is imperative to celebrate the product of our own growth, but it is also important to recognize and acknowledge the journey.  It helps us better understand ourselves while making crucial connections with those we serve.  Embracing our own success with adversity, helps us not only to become stronger, but acknowledges our willingness to see the developing strength in others.

If people can't see themselves in what you are sharing, it doesn't matter how brilliant the idea is.

Source: George Couros

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