My Beloved Employee: The Law of Overcoming Adversity and Defeat
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Don't fear defeat. It may reveal to you powers you didn't know you possessed. ~ Napoleon Hill
As I complete the final phase of my next book of working through adversity and defeat, I can’t help but think back to a significant turning point. What is a turning point? The turning point is a moment of change. It’s a thought that’s quite different from the rest. A turning point is a new way of thinking that instantly changes your perspective on life. It’s also a mindset that puts you on a new course for the better.
One important turning point for me came in the year 2000 when I decided to purchase Nightingale-Conant’s The Science of Personal Achievement by Dr. Napoleon Hill. I listened to the audio tapes rolling around town in my car. Dr. Hill was a wise old fella, who sounded like my grandfather, bringing truth, wisdom, and the facts of life to back it up like I had never heard before.
Dr. Hill had conviction in his voice as he came to the lesson on Learning from Adversity and Defeat. I was pretty sure I had whatever Dr. Hill was going to say down pat.
I played sports growing up, particularly basketball. I had lost many games and had known defeat and adversity on a number of occasions. Life had also presented its challenges in big ways. This would be interesting to listen to, but I had this. I listened to that lesson intently though, thinking it was a total replay of what I already knew. I was so wrong.
As Dr Hill spoke on that audio CD, something in me changed. I began to clearly understand for the first time in my life how the Law of Adversity and Defeat worked. I didn’t even know there was a Law in the first place.
Most of my life, I did the best I could with what I had. I tried to keep a positive frame of mind in life despite the circumstances that I faced, and there were some tough ones. I just worked with what life gave me. And I had been ok up to that point, I thought.
The Law of Adversity and Defeat: Every defeat, every disappointment, and every adversity carry with it seeds of equivalent benefit. ~ Napoleon Hill
When Dr. Hill explained that EVERY defeat and EVERY disappointment carried with it seeds of growth and adversity was nature’s way of providing opportunity as a blessing in disguise, my way of looking at life changed permanently. My thinking was no longer if I find a way to work through defeat, it was WHEN I find a way to work through defeat, there will be something valuable waiting for me on the other side. I knew Dr. Hill had found a DEFINITE way to never allow defeat to overtake his mind. It was only through trial, error, and heartache that had he come to fully know this secret.
At first glance, it might be difficult for you to accept the Law of Adversity and Defeat as the key to your growth. It was for me. Was it a law? Yes, it was something of value that I could count on every time, available to me only if I chose to see it.
The Law of Adversity and Defeat kept me from hanging on to a victim mentality. I now take responsibility for everything that comes into my life, and I’m better for it by miles and miles and miles. The seeds of exponential growth were planted in me that day as I took the Law to heart.
Defeat is temporary if you choose to see it as such, and hope always brings new understanding. Up until that time, I thought I did a great job of learning from adversity. But I had not seen EVERY SINGLE defeat, hurt, and disappointment that came along as a test of my character.
Little did I know that the crap of life IS the ultimate testing ground of building character and taking the next learning step in your journey.
If you want to get the most out of your life, view adversity as your teacher and confidante instead of the devil that robs you of your happiness.
Emerson said, “Every person in a lifetime needs to thank his/her faults.”
Your faults are your guides to greatness. Usually, the most successful people on Earth are those who decided to turn their defeats into benchmarks of learning. When you do this you become the master of your circumstances instead of the other way around. You take your power back.
Truly transforming pain and adversity into a useful tool is easy when you begin to use defeat to your advantage.
How to Begin
Begin with one question, what is this person or situation teaching me?
When you suffer a setback, ask this question while in the pain. When a loved one dies, ask this question while in the sorrow. When you can’t go on another day, ask this question while in the suffering.
Compensation for our losses is often found right in the middle of the loss itself. It is right there, in the death of a loved one, in the loss of a job, in the difficulty of moving on that we find the courage to accept the very thing that we needed to learn and that we never would have understood through any other method.
Seek the benefits of adversity and defeat. There are countless lessons waiting to be discovered in every single situation.
As I finish my new book of overcoming and learning from adversity and defeat, I will say thank you to my difficulties.
Thank you adversity, for making my life worth taking the next step and providing the testing ground to grow stronger. Thank you defeat, for giving me the answers to succeed even when I can’t see the finish line. Thank you loss and sorrow, for helping me honor the people who came before me to unveil a better way.
So, ask yourself, is the Law of Adversity and Defeat your worst enemy or your best friend?