I once heard a quote that caught my attention: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. If you’re like me, I like fresh lemonades (no coloring and artificial flavoring)…just the good ol’ natural lemonade. But understand that lemonade is made from lemons which are sour and acidic. When presented with a basket of lemons, you can either decide to suck on the lemon as is, or get creative and squeeze the juice out of the lemons, add a little iced cold water and sugar, and then it becomes a pleasant drink.
Likewise, when life presents you with difficult and unpleasant situations, you either have a choice to mope about the difficulty you’re faced with and be sour, or you can identify the potential pleasure and opportunity from the seemingly bad situation, and make the best of it.
For you to make the best of bad experiences and let them be an opportunity for significant growth, here are a few things that you can do:
1. Resist the urge to see yourself as a victim
Take a positive life stance. This is having positive frame of reference in your attitudes, assumptions and expectations you hold about yourself and the world in general. Learn to be persistently optimistic in all situations. You need to realize that though the situation may be bad, you rather make ‘lemonade’ than be sour.
Some people are perpetually in a victim mode. They never seem to be able to see any good in any situation. Even when they are presented with opportunities, they are too scared of making a mistake or failing at it, that they are not able to enjoy themselves in the moment.
When in any tough situation, confront the facts that are at hand, acknowledge your limitations but choose to remain expectant for good. Sir Winston Churchill is noted to have said “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”.
You cannot control much of what happens, but you can decide how you choose to react. If you expect good things, you will experience good things. Your expectation contributes to how you act in the face of situations. Affirm the fact that you have within you the ability to make a bad situation turn out for your good.
2. Get creative
When faced with a difficult situation, many people tend to second-guess themselves and their decisions, triggering a slew of negative thinking and talking. Reacting this way to situations shuts your creative ability down. I like to look at the Biblical account of creation and learn from it. Bible records that the world was dark, shapeless and formless, but the very first words the Creator spoke were, “let there be light…” He did not call the situation as it was, but spoke from within.
In the midst of darkness He spoke light. He spoke from a place of creativity based on what was within Him. This story of creation demonstrates that in the midst of any adversity, there is an equal and greater potential for opportunity. Likewise you have the ability to create new realities with your words and imagination. Ask yourself what is missing in your circumstance, and then begin to think about what is needed to fill that void.
Let your thoughts and words be focused on filling what’s missing. As you do this, ideas will come, and you will be subconsciously directed to an answer to overcome the predicament you’re faced with. Most luxuries we enjoy today are a product of another person’s challenge. The difference between these who provided solutions is that they were able to leverage on their creativity.
3. Never loose the lesson
Every situation we are presented with will always have a lesson. It is always good to have a lessons learned session after each difficult situation. As you seek help and counsel in making light of your situation, be sure to open yourself to correction. If you’re always arguing on what you feel you did right, then you will not be able to draw on the lesson to your benefit.
The truth is that some times, we ma not get the lesson until a long while after the incident, but we must always be on the lookout for what we learned so we can know how to adjust our behaviors and actions accordingly.
4. Make changes
Combining the ideas generated from creative thinking and the lessons learned should move you to make decisions to change certain habits. Habits are fundamental in making a success of our lives. It is the things we do consistently over time that cause us to succeed and attain to our goals.
As you move towards the pursuit of your purpose, your life should consistently evolve towards your goal. You must continually make choices to grow into your vision. Change your tactics, change your mindset, change your habits etc…change what you need to change about yourself in order to accommodate the changes in your situation.
5. Take responsibility for your life
Your circumstances may affect you but they should never define you. Every decision you make is a see that you will reap in the future. If it turns out bad, you must recognize that there were things you may have done that contributed to it. I said initially that you must resist the urge to see yourself as a victim, the only way this is possible is if you see yourself as being responsible for your actions.
If there are certain aspects of your life you don’t like, you have the power to change it!