adversity

Adversity in Our Pursuit of Happiness

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Many years ago I left my country to go far away to study. I had the goal that as soon as I graduated I would return. Things didn’t exactly happen as I planned them. And, four years became many, many more.

Sometimes life can be unpredictable due to opportunities or obstacles. During those times, we have to adjust our sails to get to our desired port.

I don’t have any regrets aside of missing the family I left behind. At times, something might remind me of the old days. I think of the friends I lost touch with through the years. And, I wonder if some of those friends might be around some place I can’t find.

But you know what? No matter what they say about plans and strategizing, we are all human. We plan, predict, project, and extrapolate to chart a course for our lives. But life isn’t that predictable. Regardless of what we think, something will always happen. If it’s not your own actions, it’s the environment or something else that forces changes to those plans. That’s life.

What We Need to do When Things Don’t Go As Planned

First, just breathe and adjust your rudder. You may have already planned contingencies. Whatever you do, just don’t freeze. Do not stand still. Do not change the destination if all it takes are simple course corrections.

Eventually, you’ll get to your desired goal as long as you want it bad enough. You’ll get there as long as you’re willing to continue the journey.

My life has been a roller coaster. I could have quit a long time ago, but I didn’t. I just kept on going. Was it easy? Absolutely not.

This post is about doing the best you can with what you have available. It’s about keeping on learning to improve your options.

Adversity encountered in your life, is not a bad thing. It means an opportunity to grow – an opportunity to get creative, an opportunity to innovate.

What’s important is to realize if something is not going the way we planned, just to put the brakes, re-evaluate and change lanes. Half the battle is realizing that your life is not going in the direction you thought you were originally heading. Make the course corrections, even if you have to make several of them along the way.

Adversity is a Gift

There are those whom, for whatever reason, everything seems to go as planned. If you’re one of those people, kudos to you. Be careful though, because if nothing adverse has happened to you, it does not mean it won’t.

Count your blessings and be humble. And, definitely don’t be smug to the fact that you’ve arrived with that smile on your face. Life is known for eventually messing with everyone.

For those of us who’ve experienced our ups and downs, here are a few rules to abide by:

  • Set your priorities straight.
  • Write down what you’re going after.
  • Educate and inform yourself if you haven’t already on the journey ahead.
  • Go after your goal as if it was the last thing in life you would do.

As long as we live, we go through calm and turbulent times. This is a gift. It’s a blessing. We don’t learn when there is calm. We learn when there’s a storm. And when that happens, we have to be able to handle it like nobody’s business.

How to Persevere

We get strength in practice and life experiences. We’ve been through this, we’ve been through that and after a while although we are not in the business of collecting setbacks, what’s another one?

When something does not happen the way we planned, it’s because of our experience with adversity that we are able to rebound faster.

Take the opposite side of the coin. Think about someone starting out who’s not expecting the unexpected. When it happens, it has an incredibly jarring effect. But, they still have to get through the challenge.

With challenges, it’s easy to start hating life. It’s easy to decide not to take chances because the net effect between trying and hurting is not worth it. It’s too painful. No one enjoys not being able to succeed in a particular area.

I implore you – don’t stand still. Don’t freeze in place. It would be a shame.

A better strategy is to embrace adversity. Learn the lessons and don’t change your mind about the end game.

There are people who breathe difficulty and transform it into action. That’s followed by dogged persistence. It’s seasoned with a whole lot of attitude. These people can see adversity as an opportunity to excel, prove themselves and get the odds in their favor.

If you’ve tried, try again. Follow the path of others if you have to. Don’t get “negged-out”. It will only be a matter of time before you make a difference. At times plans will fall apart and strategies will not make it further than the drawing room. Keep going. Believe in yourself. Eventually, you will break your “sound” barrier.

The moment you see the first “win”, a new air of confidence will fill you. That’s how you win the battle. Step by step. Winning the small battles will instill confidence and you’ll get more wins until the scales begin to tip in your favor. And, then you’ll have reached your destination, only to figure out a new adventure.

To living fully, persevering and taking on life one battle at a time.

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Posted: October 16, 2015

© 2015 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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