What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you? Take a minute and think about it. How did you feel right afterwards? Shocked? Discouraged? Hopeless? Depressed?
What Hal Elrod experienced at the age of age 20 is about as difficult a situation as anyone ever has to endure. He was hit head on by a drunk driver and found dead at the scene of the accident. Despite being clinically dead for six minutes, in a coma for six days, and being told he may never walk again, Hal defied the logic of doctors and the temptation to live the rest of his life as a victim. He bounced back to prove that ALL of us are capable of overcoming extraordinary adversity to create extraordinary results in our personal and professional lives.
His story can serve as an inspiration for all of us, even as we experience difficulty on a much smaller scale.
Imagine the MLM prospect that you’ve been working on for months just turned you down. Or imagine that the big sale you’ve been negotiating for weeks just fell through. Or imagine that you just lost your job and are left reeling, wondering what to do next. In all of these situations, we’re faced with a choice. We can let the adversity we’re facing define us, and allow ourselves to get discouraged, or else we can choose to accept the things we can’t change.
When you look at the most challenging circumstances, choose to respond differently. Instead of getting down and spiraling into a place of discouragement, accept the adversity. Tell yourself “Wow. This really, really sucks, but I can’t change it. Where do I go from here? What is the way forward that I need to take so I can achieve my goals and fulfill my dreams?” At that point, everything will change. You are no longer a passive player in your life. You become the director. Adversity can serve as a springboard to something better than what you might be able to imagine right now.
Take a minute. Acknowledge that the circumstances are challenging. Once that minute is up, don’t look back. Determine that you’re going to do everything in your power to not let your circumstances define your life.
Consider the words of one of the greatest athletes to ever compete:
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
Whatever you’re working on today, whatever your circumstances are, make the decision to accept the things you can’t change and press through them to achieve your goals. Learn to turn adversity into advantage, and your mindset will define how far you’ll be able to go.