How To Turn A Negative Into A Positive When Faced With Adversity

It’s been a long time since any of us went to our bookshelves and opened up a dictionary. (Who even has bookshelves anymore?)

Well, I did some Googling today and came across this:

"adversity (noun): a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune"

Adversity is something everyone encounters, but not something everyone understands, especially in college and right after graduation.

As we enter adulthood, there is so much we look forward to; there are so many good things to anticipate. Yet, there are times when the adversity we face can seem so daunting, there’s nowhere to turn.

The weight on our shoulders makes us feel like we hit rock bottom, and that's a hard landing. Most people hit rock bottom at some point -- or so they think.

I’ll explain...

What happened about a week after you pulled yourself out of this bottomless stress pit?

Well, ideally, you looked back and said that as difficult as the situation was, you learned something, and moving forward, you knew how to face a challenge.

Here’s my point: Rock bottom and the start of a new challenge are two entirely different things, and we should make that distinction more often.

A simple flip of your perspective can prepare you to face anything, and you are actually going to look forward to taking on and tackling your most daunting tasks.

We live in a world where advancements in technology have conditioned us to a certain perception about the “ideal life.”

Success literally rides and dies with the content of a 3-inch square on a smartphone, and the amount of times friends (and strangers) tap it twice on a screen.

And, what does this do? It lowers our stress tolerance and causes confusion.

We have so many concerns about our professional and social lives, maybe a lot of us have lost touch on how to handle adverse situations.

Everyone in this world is intrinsically good-spirited -- at least that’s my belief.

When we face the typical adverse situation, we always try look at things in the most positive light possible.

Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “triumph over adversity?" Especially in my line of work, it’s one of the most clichéd sayings in sports.

The thing about adversity, though, is it’s not something you triumph over, rather, you triumph on account of. That’s why the definition of adversity I Googled earlier is wrong. Yes, the almighty Merriam-Webster is incorrect.

This is the definition they chose not to publish:

"adversity (noun): disguised opportunity, valuable lesson, lasting inspiration"

There are things in your life that seem like misfortune.

But, if you can extract the lessons from them and use them to appreciate the good fortune you have; if you can use them as a blueprint for getting it right the next time, you have turned it from being misfortune to disguised opportunity.

It’s “losing” that gives you the blueprint for winning. You have to look at all the “unlucky” parts of your life and make the decision to thrive off them instead of feeling bad for yourself.

Make no mistake, it’s a choice. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, if you choose to let it.