Adversity Creates Opportunity

Men_pole_vault_French_Athletics_Championships_2013_t160252To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

I’d like to offer a word of encouragement for those feeling downtrodden and ready to give up their hopes and dreams.Stuff happens! And you can bet your last dollar that oftentimes life just happens too! The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune aka adversity, trouble, bad luck and sorrow will inevitably weave their way in to each of our lives, giving us little or no warning as to when or where they may rear their ugly heads. Bank on it!

That stinks, but that’s the way it is. It is an inexorable fact that we’ll all experience the ups and downs of life as life sees fit to dole them out to us. How we react, how we play the hand we are dealt makes all the difference. If we are to lead happy, fruitful lives, we can’t go flying off the handle, ready to jump off the deep end every time we face adversity.

If you’re abiding in the illusion that life owes you something or that it will be a cakewalk, free of problems, you’re in for a rude awakening.

There will be times you may feel as though you’re hanging from a cliff by your fingertips and, believe it or not, those are the times that will challenge you to greatness. It often takes being in a position of hopelessness before you come to the stark realization that hope is all you have.

But there’s good news! Hope is your most treasured possession. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at an individual who feels they have no hope. The contrast between those who have hope and those who feel they have no hope is profound. To take on the persona of no hope is to accept failure.

You may have noticed I said, “those who feel they have no hope.” I used the word, feel, meaning to think; to believe, because what one believes is the key. What you believe is fundamental to what you become.

But don’t take my word for it. This adage has been professed from time immemorial.

You become what you think about ~ Earl Nightingale

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ~ Proverbs23:7 (KJV)

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~ Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this you will build your life by, and this you will become.” ~ James Lane Allen

No one is ever going to hunt you down and drop success in your lap. That’s not how it works. You have to take it. You have to do the things you don’t want to do. You have to think in ways you’ve never thought before. You have to experience failure; the pain of defeat – and you must learn from that failure. You must make mistake after discouraging mistake until you get it right. You have to learn to see your failures as learning experiences; as stepping stones along the route to victory in your life.

This is the price of success. Whether you’re a mom or a dad striving to become a better parent, a secretary with dreams of working your way into an executive position, a student with hopes of making honors, or a writer struggling to pen the great American novel; no matter what your goal or position in life, the formula for success is the same, and the path you must follow will be filled with disappointment and discouragement.

As crazy as it may sound, we must learn to embrace failure, for with each failure we encounter, we’re simply eliminating another barrier – and we’re that much closer to the prize!

Never give up!

Bob Havey is an author and freelance writer. Bob’s book,  BE NOT DISMAYED: A STORY OF SPIRITUAL TRIUMPH; the story of his daughter, Erin’s 22-month long battle with leukemia,  is available on For a personalized copy, contact Bob at Visit Bob’s website at

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