If there is anything that becomes obvious after living for few years, it is that we will always face challenges. Even a baby is born into this world with a struggle. No matter how isolated and unique your challenge may seem, you must realize that nobody ever goes through life unscathed. No matter who you are, what background you come from, religious belief, social standing etc, you will be challenged in life, and that’s O.K! What makes the difference is the paradigm through which we individually operate from.
Our paradigm is a ‘mental map’. It’s the lens through which we view the world around us and evaluate our experiences. People who bounce back from adversity on to success have a different attitude and mental map through which they operate from. The moment you are stuck in self pit, which is synonymous to quicksand, you are bound to fail. I learned quickly that that the view you adopt for yourself greatly affects the way your life shapes out, setting you apart as one who becomes fulfilled and accomplishes one desires or a failure. Those who bounce back from great persecution realize that failure is not a state, but a transient phase. They have developed thought patterns guided by differing principles from the rest.
Answer these three questions: What’s your perspective on challenges? What is your commitment to success? What is your locus of control?
On your perspective on challenges. John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward says, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” Those who succeed realize that failure is a stepping stone towards success. They know not to label themselves as failures but their attempt as unsuccessful. If you failed at something, or came short in your goal, it’s best to recognize what the issue was. Where was the gap in your knowledge, abilities, and resources? When you identify these make another attempt. There’s nothing you go through in this world that is limited to just you, thousands, maybe millions have gone through the same, are going through the same, and would go through the same. Don’t isolate and magnify your challenges, rather treat it as an opportunity to develop character needed for success.
On your commitment to success. Tony Robbins is noted to have said, “There’s no abiding success without commitment.” Success in life starts with a decision that is followed through with a commitment. From personal experience, I’ve seen that whatever one desires, makes a decision on, and follows through persistently with a commitment, one would attain. It’s a scary thought because it works for both positives and negatives. A committed person doesn’t quit at the first attempt, or the second, or third, or tenth. Commitment says I will persist until I succeed. This attitude says, “I play till I win”. A bounce back in life onto great success requires a commitment to get to the top.
On your locus of control. As stated earlier, life happens, but do you believe you have the power to make a change in your life, or are you a product of your circumstances and the world around you? Check out my post on being deliberate. In life we have little control on what happens to us, but every action we take we are responsible for. If you thought differently, you must realize that you are responsible for your life. The world around you should not define you, but you define what you want for your life. Don’t constantly react to the events of life, but plan and be deliberate.
I recall a story in the Bible about David after he had been anointed king. The Amalekites had gone to raid Ziklag, which was the fort town of David. They had carried away the women and children, and burned down the houses. The Scripture records that David and his men wept, so much so that they were out of strength and breath. However, in the midst of the calamity, “David found strength in the Lord his God”. It was at this point he inquired of God, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” and God responded, “Pursue them…You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” Indeed they had great success! (1 Samuel 30, NIV)
There is recovery for all that may have been lost. All the lost years and resources can be recovered with even greater spoils, but you must not sit back in failure. You must draw strength from your Source, and bounce back. Success does not reveal itself in the midst of failure, rather it gleams when we have made a decision to step out and pursue. So keep calm and bounce back!