Adversity is cruel. Adversity is unkind. Adversity sucks.
Oh, well. Nothing new, right?
All of us face some kind of adversity. Some of us face adversity once in a few months, some daily. A few adversities are literally life-threatening; some we’ve gotten used to we’ve simply accepted them as a part of everyday life.
What is adversity to you?
We know one thing, though—adversity can take its toll—that is if we let adversity win.
If you’re confused about this part of life called adversity, know that adversity is but common. Adversity simply happens—yes, it does. And it does primarily because we don’t have control over a lot of things.
We can, however, learn so much about adversity.
Below are four reasons why you should embrace adversity, why you shouldn’t hide from it, and why you should continue living despite its presence.
1. You develop a deeper understanding about yourself, and about how the world works.
Whenever a sort of hardship comes into your life, make a habit of asking questions about and gaining insights from it. Every adversity teaches you a lesson unique to you—you have a unique set of skills, attitude and even lifestyle.
Don’t lie to yourself and force things you know work for others but apparently don’t for you. Be honest to yourself.
Use adversity as an opportunity to learn anything about yourself—a strength, an ability, or something that could easily stir you up. Allow adversity to help you know yourself more.
After each episode of adversity, you strengthen your moral principles and values. You develop a general set of beliefs and ideals of what is right or wrong, and of how the world around you changes.
Mind your sense of initiative for every obstacle you deal with. Adversities, though coming in different forms, all basically have the same function—to slow you down. When you sense another problem’s coming your way, take a moment to listen to your gut instincts and remember what you’ve learned from past situations.
Because adversity can help you understand yourself and your environment in general, adversity can therefore help you find your life’s true path.
Adversity indirectly tells you that you must take action for something you really want—regardless of the challenges that come along with it.
2. You hone your creativity.
You may never know how creative you could be without adversity.
Think that for a problem—just one problem—there could be a lot of ways to solve it.
Sure, adversity just comes so easily, but that’s not what matters—what matters is what you become in the face of adversity—as a person, as a fighter.
Aren’t you simply amazed that right now, you’re reading this article—because you’re alive? Aren’t you thankful that despite all the difficulties you had to deal with, the truth is, you have dealt with them, and today you are getting by?
Well, guess what. During those times, you became creative. You knew you couldn’t deal with a problem with only one approach—you had to look for other ways. And yes, they worked.
It doesn’t matter whether the solution you found was something you can be proud or embarrassed about. You made it through.
Did you fall ill? Were you short of cash? Did you hurt so bad?
Whatever you did, however you got through, you unleashed your creative genius.
Now imagine you always run away from adversity. How much would your creativity grow, if creativity meant your chances of survival?
Of course, an adversity-free life would be a dream come true. But I don’t know about you. In any case, in any kind of life, I’d rather grow.
3. You see people’s true colors—real friends surface.
I’m a proponent of speaking up when you truly need help. No question about that. Nothing to be embarrassed about, really. Especially when professional help would be needed.
One thing I truly appreciate about adversity, however, is that you eventually see who your real friends are.
Identifying the people who’ll stand by you, who’ll reach out a hand, and who’ll encourage you until the end is so difficult to do—until adversity pounds on you and makes you realize you’re on your own.
No matter how well you may be doing in life, how smoothly your plans may be going, or how fine everything may seem—you will be needing help at some point. Even if you’re blessed with the kindest heart and financial security, you’ll be needing help.
I’m not preaching becoming needy. And I don’t want to sound pessimistic (although pessimism pays at times). But adversity could be a blessing in disguise—adversity shows you the people who matter.
You’d want to take care of yourself by not wasting your energy on people who show up only when they need something, and disappear when you become the one who’s in need.
Sad but true, family and relatives are not exempted here.
4. You find more courage to stand on your own.
You create your life—from your visions to your passions to the concrete steps you take in reaching your goals.
No matter how strong your support system is, ultimately it is you who decides for your life. It is you who makes things happen.
That’s why most of the time, especially in dealing with adversity, you must have the courage to carry on, even if you have to deal with adversity alone.
Your courage is fortified over time because you keep filling the gap between the understanding you gain about yourself and your environment, and the goals you work for.
Goals, though arguably, could differ hugely for people. Some have end goals; some treat the journey itself as the ultimate goal.
Nothing, however, is worth achieving more than a refined character and attitude. For example, being well-versed or otherwise about a trade may not matter—having the desire to learn is what matters!
Adversity may push you to seek help from others. But you could be more thankful for the fact that adversity tests, challenges and thumps you just to build your character and attitude.
What’s more, you can get through the hassle without being totally dependent on others—because you continuously learn to stand on your own.
So you’ve reached this part. You’ve learned that adversity, though draining as it may seem, is actually an opportunity for you to improve, to grow. That adversity is something you shouldn’t run away from but should face instead. That its impact could be life-changing—it might even be the only thing that can kick you out from your comfort zone.
But I’d like to impart this basic but very important principle to you: You won’t see the great effects of adversity if you won’t maintain a happy heart.
Ah, the happy heart! That which could turn the world around for you. That which could change your perspective. That which could make you enjoy everything life throws at you!
Having a happy heart is sometimes underestimated you might only appreciate it the moment you decide to give it up.
Adversity does make life tough, but if you treat adversity with joy, you’ll get the most out of it.
If you only allow yourself to see the ugly side of adversity, you might only lose courage and even stop fighting.
Maintaining a happy heart in the face of adversity will make you think clearly, strengthen your instincts, and make you see life as if it’s just a game—a happy heart doesn’t take things too seriously!
Life is meant to be lived. You are here to live, not to merely exist. You have one life. You have the options and freedom you need … more than you know.
So go out and live, despite adversity. Go out and live!
Speak Your Mind
What lessons have you learned from allowing adversity to win in the past? What other reasons on embracing adversity did I miss? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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Author: Ethan Bridges
Ethan Bridges is a life enthusiast and blogger who truly believes in the power of setting goals and reaching them, one at a time. Check out his blog, www.FineMortal.com, and join the journey with him!