The ability to Handle adversity is our greatest gift. When things do not go as planned, it is essential that we learn what we can from it and move on......
Recently I was sitting in my living room working. Tornado warnings were being plastered across my television screen and outside it sounded like a freight train was coming through. The wind was howling and the skies were dark. I could see and hear branches landing in our yard. I expected the electric and phone lines to come down at any minute.
However, just as quickly as it came, the wind and torrential rain stopped. My thoughts of losing power or even trees hitting our roof and deck never happened.
Then news reports started coming in. I saw that we had been lucky. Many in my area were hit much harder. All day long I saw pictures and footage of major flooding and damage from the wind and rain.
Entire communities were under water and many had damage to their homes and businesses. People were even stranded, unable to reach their families.
As those affected dealt with the aftermath, I wondered about the randomness of it all. While I and those around me experienced very little damage, many were devastated.
There simply was no rational or logical explanation.
I think that life is often that way. The fact is, we are not always in control of what happens to us.
External forces are at play. Despite our best intentions to live according to plan, curve balls are constantly thrown at us. The key is to learn to deal with them and be able to get back on track.
I have found that flexibility goes a long way. Being too rigid and narrowly focused doesn’t work.
Many believe that those who set a course of action and will not be distracted from it are strong and driven. I think real strength comes from being able to find success despite following an ever-changing and winding path.
Time and again I see people who are constantly thrown obstacles. They may face illness, financial set backs, even the death of those near to them, but they manage to find a resilience and a joy in life on the other side.
Those people are the ones I truly admire.
I also find this trait often among my Small Business owner friends.
Each of us start our journey of entrepreneurship with a goal and a path to reach that goal in mind. We develop our business plans and open shop. Rarely is it smooth sailing.
Most times we are forced to alter our well thought-out plans and follow a completely different course of action. We may find that our original marketing strategy or even our production methods simply don’t work.
Oftentimes, outside forces derail us. Recessions, changing laws, and even natural disasters occur. Any belief that we are in control of ourselves and our business is out the window.
I am no different. I have had to deal with my own and those I love’s bouts with cancer, the death of my father, and many other things that could have stopped me in my tracks.
However, I had to choose to not let it. It may not be how I intended, but I still had move on.
The fact is, we seldom have control. We often fool ourselves into thinking we do, but that is an illusion.
We can, and should, make plans and set goals. What we can’t do, is expect to never waiver from them.
We need to remember that reality can strike at any time. Life’s challenges are around every corner and we must learn to deal with them and move on.
Much like the storm that raged through my town, unpredictable winds are everywhere. Dealing with them and coming through time and again is what makes people everyday heroes....and I know many!
I close with these words from Christopher Reeve;
"I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."
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