Struggles and adversity aren’t enjoyable, but they can help you grow into a stronger, more focused, and resilient individual. When life is easy and everything is going well, rarely do we pay attention to how fortunate we are. In fact, we start to take things for granted- it’s just human nature. But what happens when life throws you a curve ball…with spikes on it?
See, the thing is, life IS going to sucker-punch you when you least expect it. That’s part of life: the ups and downs. But with each adversity, we can learn to develop tougher skin. With each struggle we develop character, determination, and persistence. It is these struggles that make us who we are and prepare us for growth.
Like Rocky said, “How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Some of the toughest and most fearless people I know in life aren’t afraid of getting hit. Why? Because they’ve been hit so many times that they know HOW to take a hit. That’s what makes them so tough. When I was learning how to box, my coach had me and his other students (who’d been boxing for years) stand in a line and face him. He then took a medicine ball that must of weighed at least 12 pounds and tossed it at each student’s abdomen. Each student took the hit and barely flinched. I was the most physically fit of the bunch, so I thought, “No problem.” When the medicine ball hit me, I toppled over like a bowling pin and struggled to catch my breath for a minute while the class laughed. These experienced students were used to taking the hits; it didn’t matter that I was more fit.
Although I use boxing as my analogy, this can be applied to ANYTHING. When my wife was diagnosed with cancer a few years back, we changed the way we lived and ate. We were more thoughtful about what we put in our bodies. Cancer helped us become more aware. Adversity taught us to never take our health for granted. When the recession hit, I lost all my money, investments, and real estate in one fatal swoop. But, that was also one of the greatest financial lessons I’ve ever learned. Now I make smarter investment decisions and I treat money with a whole new respect.
What are some adversities in your own life that have helped shape you into who you are today-in a positive way? What struggles are you facing right now that could benefit you in the big picture of life? What lessons are you learning from your “hits”?
Peter Kaufmann is a professional musician, writer, life coach, and owner of Rockin Lifestyle. For more on Pete, visit www.rockinlifestyle.com