How to Benefit From Adversity and Defeat

by Anonymous on November 14, 2009

What we focus on largely determines where we go in life

There comes a time in our lives where we face problems and hardships that we don’t have any control over. A phenomenon larger than ourselves shapes almost impossible obstacles that we can’t overcome through normal and direct means. The more we try to resist them, the more power they seem to have over us and the more we try to accept them, the more complacent we seem to become.

If you’ve ever had to deal with a situation like this, remember that you are not alone. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it will always be. We all have to face setbacks that we have to learn how to overcome somehow.

“It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” — William Shakespeare

Sometimes unpleasant things just happen because of the complexity of the world. In an objective sense, it just is. There’s no guarantee that life will always be easy.

Of course we don’t always deserve what happens to us but one could argue that it has always been this way. The most we can do is find a way to make the most of our situation and move forward in life the best way we can.

Your problems contain opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else

What you focus on is what you give power to and will ultimately have the most influence on your thoughts and behaviors. When it comes to many circumstances, it’s how you react to them that matter more than the circumstances themselves. And some people unwittingly focus on negativity so much that they actually grow their problems bigger and more powerful than they were originally.

There’s a good side and a bad side to every situation, no matter who you are or what you’re going through in life. Just as no person has ever been all negative or all positive, no life situation is all negative or all positive. One may greatly outweigh the other, but it is never just one or the other. Even your most negative problems contain a valuable  life lesson that could benefit you and the people you come into contact with.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” — Napoleon Hill

No matter how much the negative outweighs the positive, ignore the negative side and focus most of your attention on the positive and beneficial side. Do this because the more you focus on something and give attention to it, the more it will multiply and expand. Even if the positive portion of a circumstance is unfathomably smaller than the negative portion, that advantageous component can still grow into something much larger and more eminent than the problem itself. It could even become your greatest strength.

It all starts in the mind. Remember that what you focus on most is the direction where you are going. All a captain has to do is steer his ship by an inch and the final destination will be greatly changed as time passes. If you focus all your attention on the positive side of your problems, there’s no telling how different your life will come to be.

Have you ever overcome a setback and became a better person as a result of the experience? Please share your story with us in the comments.

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