The experiences we face in life can sometimes seem strange. What we are taught in school is supposed to prepare us for a specific vocation or profession. We also learn from our environment, our family, and our friends. But perhaps one of the greatest teachers of all is a friend that we often fail to recognize. It is called adversity.
Think back on your own educational experience. When you learned to read, it may have been difficult at first. But, with practice you became quite good at it. The fact that you can read this Tip came at a price. The struggle you experienced in learning to read has resulted in a skill set you now possess and use every day.
The same is true for other academic disciplines as well. Anyone who is a dentist, lawyer, pilot, technician, physician, architect, or accountant had to start by learning the basics. After a while they experienced a type of adversity because they had to study harder to learn new concepts and overcome certain obstacles in order to pass certain tests. But eventually, the pay-off came and they were rewarded for their diligence and hard work.
If we wanted to develop the discipline of jogging, we all would know how to do that. We would first begin by walking and then we would alternate walking and running during our workout. As we got better at what we were doing, we would run for longer periods of time. Eventually we would be able to run the full distance of our goal because our stamina would have increased. The initial resistance that we would feel in the beginning of our new workout routine would be the very key that prepared us to be a better runner.
The same thing is true in the world of weightlifting. You have probably heard about the ninety-pound weakling who had sand kicked in his face at the beach. He began to lift weights and in just a matter of months, he became a “muscle-bound hunk” that turned the head of every girl on the beach and scared off all his would-be attackers.
Where did he get all his muscles? He got them from working out with weights, of course. The weights created resistance and the more he worked with the weights, the more strength and muscles he developed. The weights in the weight room are not there to cooperate with you. They are there to create resistance against you! Amazing concept!
I remember when I was in junior high school that I could not climb a rope to the gym ceiling to save my life. I just could not pull the weight of my body up by my hands alone. My arms were too weak because they were still in the developmental stage. My coach told me that I did not have to climb all the way to the top of the gym the very first day. He said, “As you pull yourself up a little each day, your grip and arms will get stronger. Just work on it and you will see the progress you make.” Every day I went to the gym and pulled myself up that rope, trying to go one notch higher. The twenty-foot-long rope was marked off in one-foot sections. Every twelve inches there was a piece of blue tape. So, I could see my progress as time passed. As if it were yesterday, I remember the day I could finally climb that rope to the top of the gym ceiling with my bare hands. I felt as if I had climbed Mt. Everest! I am so grateful that the coach told me that the process would begin by taking one foot at a time! “Inch by inch anything’s a cinch; but by the yard everything is hard!”
I could go on and on with examples in the field of exercise, but we are all familiar with that concept. No matter what discipline a person is trying to develop, it all requires overcoming resistance. And the more resistance you face and overcome, the stronger you will become and therefore, the more you will be able to accomplish.
This concept is easy to grasp as it relates to the world of physical activity. But, in our personal relationships or business growth it goes against our natural grain because most of us prefer things to be easy. The truth is none of us like resistance. Yet, we will all face adversity. That is the nature of learning. However, adversity is not an enemy; it is a friend! It prepares us to learn and grow in the very areas that will help us become greater in life’s endeavors. If you stop to think about it, adversity is just a form of resistance to help make you stronger. Learn to receive it rather than resist it.
Perhaps it is time to stop fighting adversity and recognize it as a friend. Adversity comes to prepare each of us for the next step of success and greatness that we all want so much. The more we receive it and work with it, the quicker we will grow toward the goals we are trying to accomplish. This Tip is only for those willing learn and grow and take on new territory in life. I believe that is you, otherwise you would not have continued reading this Tip all the way to the end. Reading is slow business but pays rich dividends to those who overcome the resistance of wanting shortcuts to personal growth.
I am proud of you! Not everyone wants to put in the effort to become better. You do!
And who knows? In time, we may all meet at the top of the gym as we climb the rope of life together!
Tip: Adversity is preparation for greatness!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm