A couple of weeks ago I was amazed, and moved, to hear about Alex McKinnon standing for the first time since his tragic accident whilst playing rugby league. Here is a guy that was involved in a game that he trained for, like any other week in his career, and an unfortunate tackle gone wrong ended not only his rugby league career but changed his life forever.
Last week, I was skiing in Japan on some pretty challenging runs. On a particular run I was passed rather quickly (not hard those close to me might say!) which itself is not unique however the other skier was a disabled man riding what looked to be a seat with skis on his hands! I had not seen anything like it before and was impressed to see this man handle the powder as good as anyone else I saw all week.
Both of these men have my whole hearted admiration. These are just two stories or examples, and very severe ones at that, of individuals showing resilience in the face of adversity. I am sure anyone of us could recall various others. Both of these examples got me thinking though about how I react, and how those that are part of my life react, when faced with adversity. How do you react? Whether it be in your business, personal life, sport, school or any other part of your life, how do you react?
When we face a challenge, the way I see it is we have 3 options.
1. You can do nothing and see what happens. I don’t know about you but I am not prepared to leave my success or happiness to chance.
2. You can whinge or complain about the situation and hope this might change things. In my experience this achieves nothing more than make you feel worse or more sorry for yourself.
3. You can assess the situation, find a positive, determine what you can do (and you can – even if small steps) to realise the positive and do it. This is by far the best option.
The reality is that most of us take option 1 or 2; unfortunate but true. Successful people, winners, by any measure go for option 3 every time. Ask yourself what do you do. When you lose a big customer or job, when you fail an exam or when you get an injury before a big game do you complain why you are so unlucky or why it was not your fault or do you hit adversity head on? Like Alex and my friend from the ski fields, both real winners, to be successful or happy in whatever you choose or whatever situation you find yourself in you need resilience and willpower in the face of adversity.
I encourage you to think about what option you take the next time you face a challenge and if needed, make the change! Success and happiness don’t just happen.