All setbacks carry with them an even greater opportunity. When a terrible thing happens a fantastic thing will soon follow. Every failure brings with it some wonderful gift that will make you more successful than you would have been if you had not experienced the difficulty. However, you must be focused on finding the opportunities and have the courage to keep going when the hard times come. “When it is darkest you can see the stars.” is an old proverb. Have you taken the time to look up on a dark night and to appreciate the beauty of the stars? It is magical like Disney Land. And it’s free.
Problems, hardships and challenges are simply platforms for even greater, brighter and extraordinary possibilities. The reality is no condition is “good” or “bad”. It just is. How we perceive it makes it so. This means that we have control of the perception. That is fantastic, isn’t it?
You may say when one door closes and another opens. What I am saying is that new door that opens actually offers a chance to bring you to an even more outstanding, remarkable place than the one you were at before you were knocked down. Struggle and setbacks have built the strongest and most powerful leaders. Adversity unleashes noble boldness in all of us if we permit it to.
Getting knocked down, bloodied and discouraged are just parts of the process of doing anything worthwhile, be it business, sports or life in general. We all face challenges that are part of life, like Tax and death. How quickly can you stand up, brush yourself off and get back into the fight makes the difference between the homeless person on the street and the multi-billionaire. Successes easily achieved are usually hollow victories that hold little or no real substance. You always feel much better, walk taller, and feel more satisfied when you have had to give your blood, sweat and tears to gain the most valuable victories.
Strong people look at obstacles as blessings in disguise. Helen Keller wrote
“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”
It takes time and practice to think like that.
We all have bad days when our demons come and we feel hopeless, afraid and doubt we can do anything. Being honest about those times help us to have empathy for others that are also struggling, scraping by and suffering just to make a basic living. A secret to dealing with these negative things is to give words to them. As soon as you attach a word to your fear it loses its power on you. Joan Baez said it perfectly
“Action is the antidote to despair.”
Keep moving forward. In a difficult situation just stay in the moment. Keep making the smartest choices you can and keep taking as much action as you can. Act your way out of adverse conditions. Every single positive action must yield a positive consequence, even if you don’t see it immediately. This is a universal law.
Sometimes to be successful isn’t about making the correct decision, it is about making a decision. Then moving forward elegantly and quickly. Sometimes you will find that making no decision is a decision. Sometimes you will be blindsided and frozen in change just standing and letting it pass is a decision that works. Always keep going forward. The Japanese teach “ Get knocked down seven times, get up eight.” Even when you feel like hell and just want to curl up and die, keep moving forward. When you don’t even know if you are going in the right direction, keep moving forward. Forward motion has power! Until next time I wish you peace, love and success. Martin Acton sensei