What do you see: Adversity or Opportunity?

A life without obstacles is as good as dead. Even a child is faced with obstacle in his first day on earth. The baby has to overcome this obstacle if he needs to get anything. Obstacles are everywhere in life. Whether they are everyday problems or crisis situations, how we handle them will determine what we make of our lives. The weak crumbles when the odds stack up and surrenders even before any attempt to overcome the obstacles. The great and successful people on the other hand see adversity as a challenge.

Against all odds, they rise above the difficulties and land up scaling greater heights than before. They do not merely survive the adversity, they thrive. If you are really serious about living your dreams, you have to continually conquer adversity and, amidst the chaos, look out for new opportunities to undertake and excel in. Most people miss out on opportunities, thereby remaining POOR (Passing Out Opportunities Repeatedly), because they cave in at the sight of slight challenges. Many give up without even trying. Some even have enough reasons why they feel they could not overcome the challenges.

Are you giving up before trying? Or even tried and concluded that the obstacle is too high for you? You need to reconsider your position and you will be surprised at what you can achieve. Like the old mule in a fable that I read some years back, once we have set our minds to clear all the obstacles, we will succeed in any endeavor.

A farmer once owned an old mule. One day, the mule fell into the farmer’s well and brayed loudly so as to catch the farmer’s attention. The farmer, upon assessing the situation, ruled out any possibility of a rescue as it would simply be too much trouble for him to lift the mule out of the well. However, out of sympathy for the animal, he enlisted his neighbors’ help to haul dirt into the well to put the mule out of his misery.

The old mule was hysterical upon learning that his life would thus end. As the farmer and the neighbors shoveled the dirt into the well, a thought struck the old mule. He realized that if he could shake off every dirt that landed on his back, the dirt would hit the floor and he could step on the dirt. Shovel after shovel, he continued relentlessly to shake off the dirt and step on top of it. He fought the sense of panic and distress and just went on shaking off the dirt and climbing higher up the well.

With much determination and perseverance, the old mule eventually stepped out the well, battered and exhausted, but otherwise triumphant that he had survived the ordeal. Through the way he handled the situation of adversity, the act of burying him in fact saved his life. I am sure many of us have found ourselves in this kind of situation but decided not to do anything about it. The morale of this story is that there is always a solution to every problem if only we can think enough.

What is it that you are going through? What dream do you have that you have lost hope of achieving? Start a business? Get the job of your dream? Going for further studies? You may even be in debt right now… Whatsoever situation you may find yourself now, there is a way out but the ball lies in your court. You have to rise up to the challenge and give yourself no other alternative. One failure should not discourage you from trying again. It should be the catalyst that will spur you to more actions.

Walt Disney had a marvelous business idea and needed funds to start up his business. He approached the banks for a loan and every one turned him down. He did not give up and after several visits to hundreds of banks, he got the loan he wanted approved and brought the World of Disney characters into our lives. Sir Winston Churchill had speech impediment when young and took three years to get through eighth grade. He overcame all that to become the British prime minister and a recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. These are just examples of people who have overcome obstacles to live their dreams. Look around you and you will see countless number of people who have gone through this phase before. Does anyone comes to mind? Why not share it and let’s all learn from the lives. Never give up and remember always that “Adversity creates Opportunity“.

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