Tag Archives: dealing with adversity

Never Say These 4 Words

If you’ve read our blog for any amount of time, you know that there are quite a few posts on here about dealing with adversity.  This mostly has to do with the fact that business is hard stuff and we like to share things to keep you motivated along your journey.  To that end, I wanted to share a few experiences with you.

A few summers back I got this crazy idea to ride my bike to four states in the same day.  While it was a challenge (hey, we’re talking about 200+ miles in a single shot) I managed to pull it off.  The funny thing is that when I relay that story to my non-cyclist friends, they often respond with something like “man, I could never do that.”

Recently I was watching some extreme sports type show with some friends and they ended up playing this Jeb Corliss clip of him “Grinding The Crack.”  In case you don’t know who Jeb is, he’s one of those wing suit pilots who jumps off cliffs and then “flies” back to earth.  Needless to say, after watching this clip, many of my friends were like “there is no way I could do that.”

Based on the comments to the two situations listed above, can you guess the four words you should never say?  Yup – I couldn’t do that.  Technically it’s five words because of the contraction, but you get the jest of it!

The reason one should never say those words, is because they are self limiting.  While it’s possible to assume what one could not do, you’ll never know until you at least try.  Here’s a prime example.  When I was in college I wanted to join a fraternity.  However, as with all “secret” organizations, I was a little hesitant because I just knew that they were going to make me do “something” in order to join.  What that something was, I had no idea, but all I knew was that I was apprehensive about it.

Without going into any real detail, yes, there were some things that had to be done.  Furthermore, some of those things one might think were impossible for one to do when initially presented.  However, I will say that despite what I perceived to be my own boundaries, those boundaries were in fact a lot further away than what I initially thought.  Or said another way, my limits were actually a lot higher than what I believed.  This led me to adopt the philosophy that you can do a lot more in life than you think you can.  Even if you are going through a really tough stretch in life, you can probably handle a lot more before you hit your breaking point.

Thus, the moment that you say that you can’t do something, you are limiting yourself.  If you say that you can’t learn to swim, you won’t.  If you say that you’ll never be able to climb Mt. Everest, then you never will.  If you say that you’ll never get your hobby up and running into the next big thing that society craves, then it just won’t happen.  But if you start out with a little hope and instead say “I think I can,” you might just be surprise at how far you can go.

Until next time…

Dealing With Adversity

As I started to get up off the ground I began the usual “check and see if anything is hurt” routine. I’ve fallen off my bike dozens of times before so it’s usually no big deal.   Only problem this time was the fact that something “was” actually hurt.  I stood there looking (in disbelief) at what appeared to be a dislocated wrist.  “Maybe if I just pop it back in place everything will be okay?” is what I was thinking.  Too bad I’d later find out that it was broken.

Two weeks prior to the above escapade, I crumpled in the front end of my car when a lady decided she wanted to stop in the middle of the intersection on a green light. She had no insurance and the damage wasn’t worth me paying the deductible from mine.  A few weeks prior to that some other random challenge raised it’s ugly little head.  What’s going on in my life?  Who did I make mad? Why are all these “challenges” presenting themselves?  Why is this happening NOW, when we’re trying to grow the business?  Why, why, why?

The next time an obstacle presents itself to you, you’re probably going to consider one of these four routes:

Escape  You feel as if the challenge is too much for you so running away feels like a good option.  Only problem with this is that the obstacle isn’t really gone.  It’s just waiting for you to find it again so it can continue to apply its unwelcome pressure on your life.

Conformity  This is the “okay, you win” approach.  When faced with an obstacle you are really at a point where you are “stuck” so-to-speak.  You can’t move forward (easily) and you probably can’t go back to the way things were.  If you conform, you’re really just a notch above escaping.  What you’re saying is “a known evil is better than an unknown one.  The challenges of life are just too overwhelming.  Conformity, surrender or assimilation are the only realistic options.”

Fight  One approach is to fight whatever the challenge is.  You can do this via denial, obstinacy or just flat out refusal.  While it may appear that you are winning by not giving in, the reality is you are not making any progress or solving the situation.

Belief  Call it meditation, reflection, prayer or spirituality.  While the aforementioned will help comfort the soul and mind, they are only a part of the answer.  Wanting something to be different will typically not change the situation by itself.  Change takes more than just desire.

This brings us to the option not listed – moving forward.  Let’s face it, life is difficult.  However, our attitude is what determines whether we benefit from misfortune.  The same furnace that melts gold also hardens clay.  When faced with the heat of life you can either become hardened, callous and cynical or you can let it hammer, forge and shape you into a better and stronger person.  Case in point?  Dick and Rick Hoyt.

When I was younger I never really understood all those adages like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Yet then again, I also thought that “making ends meet” was some type of weird food process.  Anyway, the point is that all of those sayings have a point which is, you have to move forward.

I got up off the ground, drove myself to the ER and got my arm fixed.  I’ve adapted my computer to work with my left hand, which isn’t my dominant one.  I’m counting down the days to when I can start rehab.  But most importantly, I’m grateful that it’s not worse.  Be thankful for whatever situation you are dealing with because someone far worse off would give anything to be in your shoes.