Today, we shall be looking at “Taking opportunities in adversities”
Life is a coin having the tail and the head. At some times, life shows you the tail and other times the head. The question is not what side life shows you but how you can turn the adversity to opportunity.
Before success comes any man’s way he is sure to meet with much temporary defeats and perhaps some failures. When such defeats overtake the man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to back out. This is exactly what most people do at the face of temporary drawbacks. Today we shall be looking at 5 ways to turn such adversities to our own advantage.
- Don’t be lazy
Martin Luther King Jnr. admonished, “If you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl and if you can’t crawl, make sure you are moving”.
Laziness is the greatest hindrances on the road to success. It is through it that one comes to critically examine the efficacy and potency of the saying “no food for a lazy man”. If you are a farmer and you harvested three bags of rice last year, all things being equal this year you are expected to harvest not less than five bags. It is an economic crime to harvest three and greater crime to harvest even less.
As a student, if you had an average of 60% last term, this term you are expected to go for 65%. A serious student will always strive to surpass his past record. Laziness kills the physical, destroys the spirit and devastates the soul.
Focus on your capacities, not on your limitations. Many great men and women have worked against debilitating limitations, genuine excuses to be lazy.
Helen Keller was blind and deaf. Beethoven J. Milton was also blind. Steve Wonder was blind and R. L Stevenson wrote most of his great stories while on sick bed with tuberculosis.
- Don’t procrastinate
Napoleon disclosed “I have succeeded in whatever I have undertaken because I have willed it. I have never hesitated which has given me advantage over the rest of mankind”.
Procrastination means hesitating, putting off what you have to do now. There is nothing practical to gain from postponing what you can do now. If anything, it can only destroy your future. You are a student and when others are reading in the day, you say you read and understand better in the night. When it is night you are tired, you want to sleep and wake up in the night only to find yourself on the bed rolling in the morning.
Or when you want to read you say you read better in bed, and the next minute you are off. As such your work keeps piling up until the day of examination. Your only option is to cheat or go for “expo” or “missiles”. By this the purpose of the examination is defeated for you have abused the reason for the test. So wake up. Every true success exalts the person and a crooked success is a reproach. Don’t let your conscience ask you “Are you sure you merit this certificate”?
Procrastination also means refusal to accept responsibilities when it could be avoided: willingness to compromise rather than put up a stiff fight: bargaining with life for kobo rather than demanding prosperity: riches opulence and happiness.
According to Napoleon Hill “Life is a checkerboard and the player opposite you is time. If you hesitate before moving or neglect to move promptly, your men will be wiped off the board by time. You are playing against an opponent who will not tolerate indecision”.
- Don’t be complacent
Dale Carnegie emphasized that “The man who with his college or graduate degree thinks he has the world as his own is already a failure, for he has ceased to complete”
Complacency is the feeling that I have arrived. It means being satisfied with where and what you are. Complacency is wrong in all its ramifications. The greatest room in life is room for progress. Strive to be more, to become more and to achieve more.
It is true that you came first in your class last term but that does not mean that that position is your exclusive right and a no- go area for someone else. Life is a race that answers only to working. That last term you were envied by someone who wanted that position. He is already in the wind to displace you and take your place. So wake up!
The race is for those who can endure and only those who endure to the end wear a crown of victory. Push complacency aside and work to earn it. Do not let the world refer to you as ex-champion while you are breathing. The race is hot and fierce. Complacency is your number one enemy counting against you.
Life is a ladder of many rungs. Don’t get too comfortable wherever you are. Each rung can support you long enough until you are able to go to the next step. Stand eternally on a particular rung and it will eventually break.
T.H Huxley said “The rung of a ladder was not meant to rest upon, but only to hold your foot long enough to enable you to put the other one somewhere higher”
- Be a survivor
Despite contrary situations on the ground, develop that attitude of a survivor. Robert First said “in three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life – it goes on”.
A man, his wife and two kids were escaping from Cuba on a small boat when suddenly there came stormy waves on the water. This caused one of the kids to fall off the boat, who was immediately swallowed up by the ferocious ocean.
Devastated by this incident, the father put the paddle down, sat on a corner of the boat and burst into tears.
With the boat almost sinking, the wife took the paddle in one hand and the other hand holding the only surviving child, said “yes we lost one of our dear children. If we don’t get up and row this boat, we are going to lose the one still alive”.
Life is a mystery but must be lived. You either live life or life lives you! Life is full of paradox. Below is summary as composed by George Carlin following the loss of his wife:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have:
Taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses, but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbors.
We conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of multiple incomes, but more divorce; fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring my voice to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend and heal hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I read about a dying war victim in Darfur sometimes ago and I was moved to tears as I read the pathetic story. A young man of about 27 years old saw one of the peace keeping soldiers and all the demand he made was if the soldier could give him a hug saying “I never had anyone give me hug before in all my life and now my life drains from me. Could you give me a hug please before I die and I know it is very soon?”
The good news is that the soldier gave the dying man the much cherished hug he demanded for. Most importantly, learn to use what God has given you for the good of humanity. This is the whole essence of life.
- Say goodbye to yesterday.
Ben Franklin advised that “Let yesterday’s problem die with the dusk. If you don’t, tomorrow’s achievements and opportunities will not rise with the sun”.
You failed yesterday and so what? That you lost something yesterday is the reason why you have not lost everything. Yesterday’s failures can only secure more failures for you today if you don’t learn to put it behind you. Yesterday is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. If you don’t let the past pass you may pass with it. Have you seen somebody driving and looking backwards?
If he does he is probably heading for self-destruction. He might be on a suicide mission. Even occasional glancing backwards slows his pace. Thus to move forward you have to look forward.
Just remember enough not to make you vulnerable. You have to table the reason for the failure yesterday.
Dissect it, operate it, slice it and analyze it. The area that brought you down you need to work on it. Remember that God holds the keys to the issues of life. He is the giver of every good thing. That seemingly attractive and lucrative venture may not be God’s plans for you. Do your humanly possible best and ask him to take control for he holds the keys to the good things of life in his hands.
Before success comes any man’s way he is sure to meet with much temporary defeats and perhaps some failures. When such defeats overtake the man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to back out. This is exactly what most people do at the face of temporary drawbacks. What it means is that your plans are not yet sound. Build more on them and start all over again and remember that every failure brings with it the seed of equivalent advantage.
Imagine a farmer who had two cows and depends on their milk for his daily living. One day, one suddenly dropped and died. Devastated by this tragedy, the farmer grieved for weeks and neglected the second cow which also died.
Tragedies and failures occur at times. You might even have to endure the death of a beloved one. You might lose your job or fail to secure an important employment after an interview. Weep, wail, mourn and cry if you must, but never allow such loss to result in another loss.
It’s okay to grieve for loss or failure. But at the same time, it’s not okay to add to the tragedy by neglecting those still alive. It’s okay to nurse your failure but at the same time it’s wrong to allow such a failure to close the door of another available opportunity.
Andres Lara said “it’s not so much of a tragedy to lose somebody special, as it is to forget that special somebody who is still alive”.
There is always a reason for whatever happened. Remember the poor farmer who spent his entire life’s savings on a ticket to get on Titanic but the missed the ship? He was upset. He was enraged. He was fuming until he heard it…Titanic has sunk.
Late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios was once fired from the company he established. Is that ironical? In one of his stories to Stanford University delivered on June 12, 2005, he said “I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parent’s garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? … “
He really didn’t know what to do for a few months. He was a very public failure, and even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on him — “I still loved what I did. I had been rejected, but I was still in love”, he recalled to his audience. And so he decided to start over.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me”, he confessed. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed him to enter one of the most creative periods of his life.
During the next five years, Jobs started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, he returned to Apple, and the technology they developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance.
Listen to him: “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it”.
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that he loved what he did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.
Don’t let the past hand around your life, otherwise you might be tempted one day to go and pick it up. I have had a good dose of failures myself but I won’t let that bother me. That I failed then did not mean the end of my life. No, it is not my life that failed but the project I embarked upon or an attempt that failed.
If nothing else, I have learnt one thing or the thing from such failures. I can’t keep dwelling on them but move forward with my life. I must go forward and go higher, leaving the past behind me so as not to obstruct my future success. The successes in my life far outweigh the failures for me to keep my focus on the failures.
If you look backwards, you move backwards. The only reason God positioned your eyes in front is so you can look forward. Your past and background are irrelevant.
This is what I believe and this is what I preach!
If you are struggling with any of these, remember you are not alone. We are all in it together working hard to help you heal.
- The world is turmoil;
- The world is in crisis;
- The world is sick;
- The world is dis-eased
- The world is in search of answers;
- The world needs healing;
- Together we can heal the world.
- I will keep encouraging you,
- I will keep motivating you,
- I will keep supporting you,
- I will keep standing by you and
- I will keep telling you the truth that:
- you can make it,
- you can become whatever you want to become in life,
- you can achieve whatever you want to achieve,
- you can have whatever you want to have and
- you can go wherever you want to go.
All I ask of you is to keep dreaming the dreams, keep having the visions, keep believing in yourself and keep moving and keep acting on those visions and dreams.
This is why I wrote an internationally acclaimed book “Putting Your Talent to Work” published by Authorhouse, UK and available on kindle-ebooks, google, amazon.co.uk and authorhouse.oc.uk. The book is also in about seven international languages including English, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, French and Portuguese.
For counseling, appointment and invite or to order for “Putting You Talent to Work” call 07064334855, 08117848934 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter: @odelord; Facebook: Ode Idoko and LinkedIn: Ode Idoko; skype: ode.idoko