Sitting with my mom in the hospital as she got ready for yet another procedure made me wonder how she could stay so positive and cheerful even while facing such seemingly insurmountable odds. What happiness sources could she possibly be tapping on while even her own body was not cooperating with her? I asked her whether she was just putting on a brave face to make it easier for her family or was there really something good that she saw in this whole grueling experience?
Surprisingly, for me, she really believed that adversity does have its blessings too – here are five reasons why:
Blessings in Adversity #1: Sink or Swim –
Adversity prepares you to swim, to fight the battles that life keeps throwing at us. Each small victory or failure is one more way to find aspects of yourself that you never knew you had it in you. One more survival skill learnt to prepare you for the future. One more step in the path to self-discovery. Resilience, adaptability, strength, patience are all tested in times of adversity and you emerge stronger and more confident about yourself.
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~Dr. Seuss
Blessings in Adversity #2: Finding the good in people –
Everyone is always willing to celebrate in your success, but how many are there for you when you really need them? It throws a strong scanner on your relationships. You learn not to invest your precious energies and time on those that never really cared and appreciate those that do. Adversity brings people closer to you and strengthens your relationships with them who really care for you. Becoming humbler and learning to let go may be lessons that are learnt only through adversity but are also ones that bring much happiness too.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Oprah
Blessings in Adversity #3: Value of Time –
Each moment is precious and could be your last. Living in each moment and enjoying the moment while it lasts is a point that difficulties drive home. You realize the pointlessness of wasting away the moments that have been given to us, it could be the last good moment that you have in a long time – savor it, create something of value, be grateful for the moment.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness; no laziness; no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Lord Chesterfield
Blessings in Adversity #4: Seeing the Big Picture –
It sometimes takes a good jolt to shake you out of your rut and make you see the big picture. Adversity brings perspective with it. The daily stresses, the petty worries and the small fears are put in proper perspective when faced with tough times. We are all born, we all die. It is what we do in the between that matters most. You start to realize your place in the world and the purpose of your life, the grand plan for you becomes clearer.
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Carl Jung
Blessings in Adversity #5: Deepening Connections with the Higher Power –
Faith is a powerful source of energy. Faith empowers the belief that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and that this too shall pass. It is in tough times that we fall back on this source the most. We discover what our view of God really is. Putting yourself in the hands of whichever Higher Power that you believe in is a definite fast track to inner/spiritual growth.
“Self-realization means that we have been consciously
connected with our source of being. Once we have made
this connection, then nothing can go wrong…” Swami Paramananda
In life or in business, it is certain that we will never be completely free of challenges or hardships. It is in these times that you have an opportunity to test your mettle and see what you are made of. My mom made me realize that there is no good or bad situation, it is how you respond to the situation that makes it good or bad. And if you learn to recognize and revel in these hidden blessings in adversity, you can only be richer from the experience.
What have you learnt from the challenges that life has thrown out to you? Has it brought out the best in you? Do you look back and think that the experience was actually good for you? I would love to know.