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The Person To See™ Blog

Tim in Action

JLL RBC 2017 195

Piercing through all of the noise

Adversity Offers Opportunity

This is not always easy to see in the moment.

Did you know that if you survive a heart attack your heart is actually stronger? This is a great metaphor for all of us when it comes to dealing with adversity.

I will be the first to say that I have had my fair share of adversity and hated every moment of it. But, I am proud to say I fought through my challenges and I am certainly stronger, wiser and better for having gone through them.

Believe it or not, facing and overcoming adversity (with class) is one of the most powerful ways to build personal brand equity. Think about it. How do you feel about wounded veterans? Hellen Keller? Or Nelson Mandela?

I would suggest to you that it was not merely the fact that these people overcame adversity, but also how they acquitted themselves during these most trying times.

Hopefully, none of us will find ourselves in similar circumstances, but most certainly, if we are ambitious, we will inevitably experience unexpected challenges. Some of our own making and some not. The cause is irrelevant. All that matters is how we choose to respond.

Victor Frankel, a Nazi concentration camp survivor wrote in his amazing book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “They could take everything from me except one thing and that was my attitude.”

My wife sometimes gets frustrated with me because if things are going bad, I always find something good to take away from the situation. (e.g. You know Honey, one good thing to come from this is…”).

There is no magic formula for dealing with adversity. Everyone’s way is different. Here’s how it usually goes with me:

  • My initial response is usually one of frustration and in certain cases even anger. I waste a lot of unnecessary energy rehashing what went wrong, oftentimes blaming others. I share this with you because I want you to know, even though I always power through adversity, it is not always graceful in the beginning. But, once I finish crying over my own spilt milk, I accept full responsibility. I OWN IT. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
  • Step two is key. Even while I am thrashing about, I never stop moving forward. Many people will allow their frustration and anger to consume and paralyzed them.
  • Next, I decide what the goal (perfect picture) is to correct the situation.
  • I always design a plan of action with very specific goals. I personally need structure.
  • Then it is on to massive action. I scrupulously monitor my activity (i.e. What I am accomplishing and what still needs to be accomplished). I am a big believer in lists and checking things off as I finish. Accomplishment motivates me.

Not too long ago I faced some significant challenges because of getting into business with some bad people. It was my own fault. I knew they were bad people and I looked the other way. My wife even warned me. But I knew better. NOT.

With the help and support of my wife, we fought back. Not against anyone, but rather against the adversity. And I must tell you that while I would never wish my experience upon anyone, I take great pride in the fact that as the Mexican proverbs states, “They tried to bury me, but they did not know I was a seed.”

At the end of the day YOU are YOUR best bet!

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