What kind of day, week, even month are you having? I certainly hope it’s a good one, but I know the reality is that many people are struggling right now – perhaps it’s with family, personal issues, even challenges in building your business. And the even harsher reality is that even if things are great today, they can quickly go south tomorrow. This is a little thing we call life. The question you have to ask yourself is how will you deal with the challenges, the bumps in the road, without letting them completely knock you off track?
My three children are all young adults now but as they were growing up, my wife and I tried to teach them how to deal with challenges, how to rise above and overcome them – instead of being completely beaten down by them. See it’s easy to have a positive attitude during the good times. It’s easy to be a strong leader when things are going well. But the real measure of a person’s character is how they react when the chips are down.
The first step to surviving – and more importantly thriving – through the challenges is realizing that conflict and tough times are all a part of life that can’t be avoided. No one is immune to them and no one can hide from them. Think of the happiest, most positive person you know. I guarantee they have bad days too – perhaps they just do a better job of hiding them. What you have to remember is it’s the conflict that makes your story worthwhile, worth telling. In fact, the conflict has to be great for your story to be great. Think about it this way: if the story line in a movie is about a guy who wants a new car and he doesn’t get the new car, no one would cry at the end of the movie. In fact, no one would even watch the movie.
I recently read a story in SUCCESS magazine about Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. As a second round draft pick, he received the highest signing bonus of any second rounder that year – $1 million. Jon had it all – until he was diagnosed with cancer. But instead of quitting, Jon went on to lead his team to win the 2007 World Series, and in May 2008 he pitched a no hitter – all in less than two years after his diagnosis.
Jon is a true example of someone who didn’t fold when times got tough, nor did he give up on his goals. In fact, he used his challenges, his conflict to push him to work that much harder to defy all odds. And while he would certainly have a reputation as an outstanding major league pitcher, it’s his incredible recovery from cancer and his no-quit attitude that has people talking – and will keep people talking long after his baseball career is over. It’s his conflict that makes his success that much sweeter.
So the next time an obstacle is thrown in your way, the next time the chips are down and the road seems long and impassable, remember that your conflict is part of your story – and it’s the part that will certainly make your story worth telling one day.
Until next time,