Over the years I have come to see that there are basically four different ways that we can handle adversity. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day I think there is only one really good way of dealing with it.
First, we can MAXIMIZE it. When we take this position, we tend to exaggerate the crises. We sometimes blow things way out of proportion and make issues bigger than they actually are. This approach can be devastating. It will cause us to over-react or over- respond to a situation that perhaps could have been handled in a much easier manner. Maximizing adversity often leaves us with very few options and tends to stifle our creativity in dealing with it.
Second, we can MINIMIZE the adversity. In this approach we tend to understate the crisis. We do not handle the situation we are facing in an appropriate manner. We tend to make light of things as though we do not think that what we are going through is very important. This can be dangerous because, in the end, things often come back to “bite us” or “haunt us” when we do not deal with them effectively. This is really a band-aid approach. We will be the loser for not paying closer attention to the adversity facing us at the moment.
Our third choice is to ADVERTISE the adversity. If we choose this option, we do our enemy’s homework for them. We tell the whole world about it. Someone once said that when we stand up and tell all the bad news that has happened to us, we are actually doing a gossip’s job for them! That is pitiful when you stop and think about it!
I remember when I was growing up my mother used to say to me, “A wise old owl sat in an oak; the more he knew, the less he spoke; the less he spoke, the more he knew; and this same thing can be true of you!” It turns out that my mother was right!
It is often a good idea to keep our mouths shut about the adversity with which we are currently dealing. In many cases it will pass without everyone and his brother needing to know what we are going through.
The fourth and best way, I believe, is to ANALYZE the adversity. As we take this position, we extract useful information from the adversity with which we are faced. What can we learn from the situation and how can it help us to be a better person?
Someone has wisely noted that crisis is merely concentrated information. In other words, when we are going through a difficult time, it is often a lot of information that has been concentrated into a particular situation in a short amount of time that has gotten our attention. If we learn to analyze what we are going through, and learn from it, we will be better off and the situation will have been profitable to us.
I would encourage you this week to take the time to analyze any adversity currently facing you. It will benefit you in the current situation and it will give you further wisdom as you continue to go through life. No one will escape this life without facing some adversity. You might consider the four ways to deal with it and decide to analyze adversity in order to get the most from each situation that you encounter. After all, you might as well learn from it so you don’t have to repeat it again in the future!
Tip: Analyze Adversity!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm