Life can be ruthless even at the best of times. We're often faced with one adversity after another. Sometimes it's the perfect storm of problems. Overbearing. Stifling. And humiliating. But we all face challenging times in life. We're put through the ringer and bad things happen to us. The question isn't about whether it'll happen. The question is, how will we react when it actually does occur?
I've been thinking a lot about this. Last year, I walked away from what could have become a substantial business. I had a falling out with my business partner. After three years of engineering a platform, it felt like all hope was lost. But a funny thing happened. I immersed myself in the act of helping others. In effect, I added tons of valuing by learning what some of the most successful people in the world have done to achieve their lofty goals and sharing that knowledge with others.
What's transpired since then is nothing short of miraculous and what I've uncovered is extraordinary. It's allowed me to understand the granular nuances of success at the highest level. I'm talking centimillionaires and billionaires. Some of what I've learned isn't that shocking. But the journeys, literally from rags to riches, are astounding. It's one thing to hear about these stories in the news or media. It's an entirely different thing to see and speak to these people. To learn from them in person is eye-opening.
The thing about failure and success is this. You see, most people shy away from failure. They dread it. They run from it, as if it's the biggest peril in life. They avoid it like the plague. But the most successful people in the world have had the opposite credo. They've embraced failure. They've welcomed it. They've walked through that pain, gritting (if not grinning) and bearing it. Every moment of that strife has actually strengthened them. Not defeated them.
I say this because, if you've dealt with adversity, if you've failed, if your entire life has come crashing down in a million little pieces, it's not the end. It's the beginning of something new. Henry Ford, whose first two businesses effectively went bankrupt, said the following. "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligibly." Lao Tzu said that "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
If I were to pick some of my favorite quotes in the world, it would be these two. You see, failure is just a stepping stone. And if you've been faced with adversity, if you've failed, crashed and burned miserably, it's not the end of the line. It's a chance to start anew. It's part of that journey of a thousand miles. And like many of those out there in the world who've attained success at the highest level, it's simply a new beginning. A fresh start along a continuous path.
How to overcome any adversity.
Going through adversity is tough. It's hard failing in business. When your finances or your health are in jeopardy, it keeps you up at night and drains all your mental, emotional and spiritual energy. It's tough battling through that. It truly is. But there are ways to overcome any adversity in life. You will get through it, eventually, if you focus on these three primary strategies.
Whether or not you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death right now or not, there are some things to keep in mind. Whatever doesn't kill you, will most certainly make you stronger. All you need to do is walk through the pain. Embrace it. Feel it. Don't run from it and cower. Don't avoid it or use substances to escape. That won't help you overcome the adversity. That'll only make matters worse.
1. Mindset is everything.
Your mindset is key. It's everything. If you've failed, or you're struggling right now, be careful about how you curate your thoughts. Change your focus. Shift from the negative to the positive. What can the current situation teach you? What can you learn that will embolden you to push through and keep you fighting the good fight? It might be hard. I know. I've been there. But it's the key to moving forward.
Often, when we think about the enormity of a goal, we feel overwhelmed. How will we possibly achieve something that's so lofty? Thinking about it now, it might sound impossible. But if you can improve just a small percentage each and every day, some remarkable things occur. But to do that, you have to cultivate the right thoughts. Yes, the proverbial, think positive. If you can't get yourself out of a rut, change your environment. Head outdoors and go for a walk.
The truth? There are miracles occurring every moment of every day around you. Your entire existence is a miracle. It truly is. Whether or not you believe that is inconsequential. The probability of your existence and of coming into being is so incredibly small that it truly is a miracle. Whether you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, or the spiritual oneness that binds us all, you have to agree that there is a purpose for you being here right now.
I say that because it's the basis for everything. Mindset is key. It's the platform that can fuel your growth. It's the lever you can pull to catapult you from even the worst possible scenarios into the best possible situations. I'm not just talking financially here. I'm talking about every single aspect of that word. The key is in your mind. It always was and it always will be.
2. Have an attitude of gratitude.
I know. I know. It sounds cliché. Just be grateful for what you have. Even your problems. Right? But it's so true. From all of the most successful people that I've come across, they've all been grateful for what they have. People I've had the opportunity and privilege to interview like Joe Polish, Dean Graziosi, Howard Panes, Kevin Harrington, John Assaraf and others, have all been grateful for what they have. Not for what they don't. If you focus on what you don't have, you'll never get ahead.
When I was a teenager, I distinctly remember receiving a gift. I didn't know what to think about it then. It was from a friend on my 16th birthday. The poster read, "Happily succeed instead of succeeding to be happy." I didn't even hang it on my wall. I suppose I had prioritized success at all costs back then. What I didn't understand was that financial success wouldn't bring happiness. You could only truly succeed by first being happy. That was the key.
To do that, you have to be grateful. No matter what's occurring or what's happening, be grateful for it. That's how you move past the present moment and stride with confidence into the future. What's done is done. The past is the past. And all those other sayings. But there is so much truth in those old adages. You will never be as old as you are now, nor will you ever be as young. So be grateful for whatever it is that's come your way.
Related: A Little Gratitude Can Go a Long Way
3. Set meaningful goals.
I distinctly remember something that Russell Brunson once said. He talked about a morning he didn't feel like getting out of bed. He wasn't serving the right people. He was miserable. There was a lack of meaning. Ever feel that way yourself? I know that I have. What changed it for him and for others? They shifted the paradigm. They changed their approach by setting more meaningful goals.
Meaningful goals are important. When our goals are superficial, we don't follow through. In fact, several goal setting studies have found that, not only do you have to set goals and create plans, but you have to ensure that those goals are meaningful. Not focused on money or power or greed. Focused more on things like love, family, freedom, security and country. Things you won't simply give up on.
While there are loads of goal setting strategies, one of the best is the SMART method. But that's not the only one out there. However, a goal is just a dream or a hope or a wish without taking action towards it. Make a massive action plan to see your meaningful goals to fruition. It's not about the adversity. Life is about what you do to overcome those adversities. It's about molding and shaping you into a better human being.
At the end of the day, that's what's important. It's not the money or the things. Those don't last forever. It's what you gain. It's who you become. It's what value you add to this world. But without action, and without the deep and meaningful drive to accomplish great things for the right reasons, none of that is possible.