A Deeper Understanding
Four weeks ago, you took a closer look at the significance and difference between the two words ‘regret’ and ‘disappointment’. In the weeks that followed, a similar strategy was used to look at other pairs of words that are frequently used in the English language.
The purpose of this last series, ‘The Difference Between’, was to break down the definitions of pairs of words that are commonly used interchangeably in life, conversation, and everyday use. The intended result was to gain a better understanding of the differences of such words and to recognize the value they have when working through adversity.
For example, in part two of the series, you read about the deliberateness that is associated with an attempt to accomplish a task. This component of being deliberate is what makes the word ‘attempting’ significantly different than the word ‘trying’. Then, you dissected the phrases ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ to learn how one of these phrases helps serve as a catalyst to put an idea in motion. Last week, in the final part of this series, you learned that giving thanks is an expression, but showing appreciation is an action.
There is no doubt that several weeks could have been added to this series. However, my goal was to simply provide some thought-provoking material – some content that forced you to do more than just scratch the surface. Because, until you can dig a bit deeper, and be curious about what’s beyond face value, it will be challenging to seek (and receive) more from life than just the status-quo.
Even more important than challenging your existing way of thinking, my intent was to demonstrate how making minor changes in ‘self-talk’ can be the difference between your ability to falter or to embrace adversity.
Think about these examples using the phrases ‘I can’ and ‘I will’
- I can fight to overcome my cancer diagnosis. I will fight to overcome my cancer diagnosis.
- I can work to create meaning in my life and the lives of others. I will work to create meaning in my life and the lives of others.
- I can fight to overcome the challenges and hardships in my marriage. I will fight to overcome the challenges and hardships in my marriage.
- I can learn to play the piano even after losing my vision. I will learn to play the piano even after losing my vision.
Remember, you can do anything. The key question remains, “Will you?”
The Differentiating Factors of People Who Embrace Adversity
Often, it is the small tweaks that you make in areas of your life that will contribute to a much larger success. Make small changes in your eating and exercising habits, and you will see long-term results that result in a healthier you. Implement small strategies into your daily routines to eliminate distractions and to drive productivity.
Start small, gain momentum, and conquer the hell out of everything you do. Just like the intent of this series, you will benefit from recognizing how the slightest changes in your life can promote optimism, drive action, and achieve success.
There is plenty of research out there that provides evidence for what characteristics most contribute to an individual’s success. In her book, Grit, Angela Duckworth shares her research that suggests that the people with the most ‘grit’ are the people who achieve greater success than their peers who lack the ability to be ‘gritty’.
Author Richard St. John’s work concludes that the most successful people have the same eight characteristics. Among these eight traits are a passion for what they do, they have a focus, and they get outside of their comfort zone.
While I do not doubt the results of Duckworth’s or St. John’s studies, I personally think that the difference between people who embrace adversity and who achieve success boils down to something much simpler. It’s an idea or theory that requires waking up in the morning and telling yourself these three words:
Today is possible.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. When you woke up today, your feet were on the starting line. Your failures and achievements of yesterday only serve as an experience that contributes to your growth. Tomorrow’s opportunities aren’t promised. And, quite honestly, if you can’t survive today, then you will never be prepared to face the dawn of tomorrow.
The difference between the person who embraces adversity and the person who shutters at the thought of hardship is the person who recognizes this:
Today provides you with an infinite amount of opportunities – opportunities to make small changes in moving away from your ‘here’ and towards your ‘there’. So, as you begin your day, regardless of whatever it is that you’re dealing with, tell yourself, “Today is possible.” Then, ever so slightly, begin with just one small step. And remember, that one small step is the difference between taking control of your own life and moving toward the success that you deserve, or standing still and thinking about your next move.
You deserve today. Embrace it and lean into it. You will be thankful for the difference it will make in your life.