You may have noticed that life on Planet Earth is not always peachy. Disappointments, defeats, setbacks and adversity simply come with the territory of living here. I don’t know anyone who enjoys experiencing those problems. And I also don’t know anyone who has always avoided them.
When things go wrong, it is tempting to ask: “Why is this happening to me?” But if adversity is a part of life, and it is, that’s not a good question. A better question is: “How will I respond?”
Since the very week I began the Jump Marketing Team in 1998, I have been keeping quotes and little scraps of information I have read. Over time, that collection has turned into a document I call my Principles and Values. It is now 27 pages long and is divided into 30 sections, like Goals and Planning, Characteristics I Should Have and Tips for Managing Time.
Here is part of the section on Defeats and Adversity. I would attribute quotes to their authors but I don’t have the names. (More often than not, I wrote these on napkins, sticky notes, receipts—anything I could grab at the time.)
I hope one or two of these little nuggets will give you something to consider when adversity comes your way.
--Adversity creates doubt. Don’t make sweeping changes if panic sets in. Change may look very attractive, but it is often better to stay the course.
--Good fortune tires of carrying me on its shoulders too long. Expect adversity. The essential trait to have when it happens: perseverance.
--"Losing, in a curious way, is winning.” Robert Bach, Century 21, who would have never begun the company if he had not failed at his first venture at age 44.
--Call time out. Mentally and physically come to a stop. Panic is an irrational, quick-spreading fear that warps my perception of reality.
--Carefully, honestly analyze the problem in terms of what I did wrong. Don’t focus on what others did. Don’t assume a victim’s mentality.
--Intellectually and emotionally grasp that problems are a way of life. Adapt to negative situations.
--Lincoln, over 28 years, lost his job, failed a business, suffered a nervous breakdown and was defeated for public office. Then, he was elected President.
--Keep run-of-the-mill problems in perspective by realizing the relatively small number of genuinely serious problems I have.
--It is not stress that kills, but the reaction to stress. Save my serious concerns for serious considerations.
--Sheer will, hard work, an unwavering faith in God and the strength of my character will get me through adversity.
--I’ll never be free of illnesses, accidents, injuries, natural disasters, etc., but I am totally free to choose how I will respond to them.
--Setbacks are not failure. Failing to persevere is failure.
How about you? Do you have a favorite quote about dealing with adversity? If so, would you email it to me? firstname.lastname@example.org