Embracing Adversity

Ever read a story that had no conflict, climax, or action? What were your thoughts about it? Boring, bland, unimpressive, monotonous?

That’s what life is without adversity!

As much as we pray, hope, a desire to experience peace in our daily lives, we cannot ignore that challenges and problems are part and parcel of every day life.

In an episode of the Unfettered Podcast, a friend described it as ‘the highs and lows of life.’ For me, this paints the perfect imagery of undulating hills, high mountains, and low valleys. Mountain tops are exciting. Their scenery invigorates us and leave us wishing that we never have to leave.

Alas, we will always have to make trips to the low valleys filled with gloom, sadness, and despair. Rather than resign ourselves to living life as a roller coaster, I propose that we need to take charge by accepting that the growth we desire begins in the low valleys.

In his timeless speech popularly titled, May Your Road Be Rough, Tai Solarin, a great Nigerian educator said, ‘I am not cursing you; I am wishing you what I wish myself every year. I therefore repeat, may you have a hard time this year, may there be plenty of troubles for you this year! If you are not so sure what you should say back, why not just say, ‘Same to you’? I ask for no more.’

For many of us, this is definitely not a prayer we will accept but a deep reflection on its true meaning will get us thinking of adversity differently.

Think of adversity as friction which allows us to perform basic tasks like walking down a path, driving down a street, moving an object from one place to another, etc. Without friction, none of these will be possible.

Like friction, this is exactly what adversity does for us. It takes us outside of our comfort zone and forces us to look within for the hidden treasures buried inside of us. It pushes the boundaries of our perspectives and gets us desirous for better experiences.

Rather than associate adversity with everything that is negative, we need to embrace it as a formidable weapon in forging the life we desire. For many of us, we probably wouldn’t have become the excellent entrepreneurs we are today if we didn’t get rejected at many job interviews. Every NO we got pushed us to become the better version of ourselves that the world celebrates today.

We need to master the art of processing, understanding, and learning in seasons of adversity. No longer should we wear gloomy faces and act as if the whole world is against us. Rather, we should focus on we staying still and listening to our inner voice as it guides us through. We need to also prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the next season.

Remember, our lives are unfolding stories that will one day be told to generations coming after us. Do we want posterity to yawn at our stories or do we want our stories to inspire them to achieve more? The choice is ours to make today.

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