The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
(Quote attributed to William Arthur Ward)
Adversity is a fact of life, and overcoming adversity requires effort.
Getting out of bed requires effort — whether you rise before dawn or in the afternoon.
Eating requires effort — even if you get your food at a restaurant.
There is no free lunch. In one way or another, you pay for everything you get. Nothing comes easy.
You think going to the gym is tough? Try sitting on your butt all year eating donuts. Inactivity costs plenty.
The secret to overcoming adversity
Obstacles exist. That’s just the way things presently are. Once we’re willing to accept reality, our choices are plain:
- Complain about life and how unfairly we’re treated
- Look forward to a day when everything will be different and life will be wonderful
- Square up to the present situation and deal with it
Please don’t think I’m being a pessimist here. Pessimism is dwelling on how bad things are and how much worse they are going to be. My aim is to speak from realism: This is the situation. Face it. Now what?
The secret to overcoming adversity is to admit it’s constantly present and doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon — then to leverage that adversity into a force that makes you stronger.
Pushups make you stronger
For example, pushups are one of the best exercises you can do. They require no equipment, and you can do them just about anywhere. Pushups build strength and help with endurance (especially mental endurance). They are only able to provide those benefits, though, because of the adversity provided by gravity. If nothing opposed your motions, there would be no benefit to them.
To overcome adversity, practice mental jujitsu. Use the weight of the opponent to make it easier for you to win the match.
Roadturn Challenge: Choose something you want to do, but you’ve not been able to succeed at doing. Maybe getting out of bed earlier, maybe losing some weight, maybe getting regular exercise or eating better — choose one thing. Then identify the forces working against you. What’s stopping you? The first step in defeating the enemy is knowing the enemy. Set aside some thinking time. Look deeply. Record what you find.
Roadturn Principle: If nothing opposed your motions, there would be no benefit to them.
Let’s talk about it…