Most of us go through life thinking “That won’t ever happen to me” and when it does happen, you are shocked and resentful. One moment in time can change your entire destiny. Just ask the guy who stops for happy hour, never ending to have one too many, and gets a DUI on his way home; or the woman who stays in an abusive relationship and ends up shooting her perpetrator, even the high school cheerleader who falls for the “star” quarterback, both with college aspirations until she winds up pregnant. Some adversity is just a result of living life other times due to our poor choices. Yes, one moment, one decision can alter your entire destiny.
So we make decisions, some bad and some good but always we must deal with the consequences. There as many ways of dealing with consequences as there are people. Some of us try to drink them away, drug them away or work them away, but where ever you go, there you are!
Ponder the words of Napoleon Hill: Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit, we come to believe that sometimes it is adversity that brings about the ability to become successful.
Addiction, jail, homelessness, prostitution and domestic violence should have killed me, but it released a potential that may have lied dormant if not watered by the storms of adversity in my life. Challenges can turn us into extremely resourceful people. If given the choice between potential contenders, one with a high level of education and the other with experience and passion, I would select the person who has overcome adversity.
The ability to manage and overcome problems builds confidence and helps us see our value. Recognizing this value stirs up a passion to share this victory with the world. This is how character appears. You know the old adage “no pain, no gain”- Mountaintops are awesome, but we grow in the valley’s of life. Being able to achieve results and express with zeal how you were able to overcome obstacles ignites and excites your team and people around you.
The act of facing challenges head on, naming them, and then applying strategies derived from that enriches your abilities to evaluate, propose change as well as a strong affection and deep enthusiasm to see others succeed. I knew that my experience with transition was valuable and that it could help women who were coming from incarceration back to society, so I decided to form a non-profit and build a home to support these women. From my past I learned how to hone in on what I wanted to achieve and have developed much resilience. In pursuit of making my dream a reality, the combination of persistence and passion proved to be the right combination for philanthropist Doris Buffett, professional athletes, Politian’s, clergy and corporate executives, enabling me to raise over $1 million dollars in 5 years. It wasn’t my formal education or lack thereof but rather my ability to affect their state of mind and perception my communicating adversity as an advantage. Of course this cannot be used as an unmitigated statement; there are exceptions to every “rule”. Surely you wouldn’t allow a man to operate on you based on his “enthusiasm” but the way someone handled adversities in the past tells me a lot about how accountable they hold themselves and how they position themselves to make progress in the future. It’s not just about your resume, but also your passion!