There are a few certainties in life and one of them is that undesirable things will happen. Or are they undesirable? Hmmm, interesting question! Depending on where you live in the world, you are currently experiencing some level of COVID, which was supposed to be gone by 2021, wasn’t it? You may have experienced loss of a job, a relationship, a level of your health or something else that was important to you? That adversity you experienced or are currently experiencing can be an absolute gift if you choose it to be. So, my message this week is, don’t waste that adversity.
I consider myself an extremely blessed person. I grew up in a loving home and had every opportunity to develop myself and create success in my life. I was able to play professional football, become an author and now am incredibly grateful that I have found and am living my purpose. Sure, I have had some challenges throughout my life, but who hasn’t? What I have learned is that those challenges do not define me, but with the proper perspective, it’s my attitude towards them and the actions I take as a result of them which is what defines me.
I am continually inspired by people who have experienced far worse adversity in their lives than I have, yet have not wasted it. Instead, they have used it as a platform to find their purpose, create opportunities and help many people. In my podcast this week called, ‘2020 – The foundation of transformation’ I talk to two of these people. Stacey Copas, who at the age of 12 dived into a shallow pool, broke her neck, drowned and became a quadriplegic. I think you would consider that adversity! She is now an inspirational author, speaker and coach and is using the gift of her trauma as a platform to help many people. Deborah Stathis, at the age of 19 was involved in a devastating car accident which caused life altering spinal, facial and acquired brain injuries. She was told she would never function normally again, but if you interact with her today, you would never know that her face and brain had been ‘smashed in.’ She not only defied overwhelming odds against her, she has used the gift of her accident and trauma to become a globally acclaimed author, speaker coach who is impacting many lives.
Stacy and Deb experienced adversity far greater than most of us ever will, yet have not wasted it. You and I deal with adversity on a daily basis, at some level or another. It may be as simple as your shoelace breaking, getting a flat tyre or running out of milk, or it may be more significant like a health, relationship or financial crisis. The point is, whatever the adversity, don’t waste it. Author and entrepreneur, Robert Kiyosaki says, ‘Within every problem, lies an opportunity.’ The opportunity may be a lesson we need to learn. It may be a platform to grow and expand from. It may be a test to prove to you that you have what it takes to be the person you want to become. It is always an opportunity for you to believe in your inner strength.
I have experienced this to be true in my own life. Getting sacked as a professional footballer opened the door for me to explore a wellness industry career. Owning a failed café and losing close to $100,000 was the lesson and the moment I needed to decide to write my first book. Losing my mother to cancer, as devastating as an event as it was, moved me to write a book about her and use her life, courage and lessons to inspire people all around the world. So, I hope you can see, every adversity is a gift which, when unwrapped, will offer an incredible blessing in your life, and the life of others. The key is, you need to be looking for the opportunity, platform, lesson or test or you will waste this wonderful adversity that has been presented to you and will continue to be presented to you each and every day.
If you can reflect back on 2020 and see all the things that you may have considered as undesirable, can you see the opportunity, platform, lesson or test that came from them? If not, look harder or you will waste them. And, as 2021 unfolds, just know, without taking this as a negative statement, there will be things occur that may seem to be undesirable, BUT they will be wonderful blessings if you will stop, look, learn, explore, question and discover the opportunity, lesson or test that is there just for you. As you move forward from today, please don’t waste wonderful adversity.