Charles Hutchins, Columnists, V6I2

Turn Adversity into an Opportunity

(Photo courtesy of Jacub Gomez from Pexels)

“Adversity is preparation for greatness.” — Andy Andrews

I’m sure that we can all agree that life is filled with challenges that can knock us off course. I’ve experienced a multitude of setbacks in in my 24-plus years in the shed business that left me pondering my future and how to move forward. During those times, my mother used to tell me that tough times never last, but tough people do. 

Only by God’s Grace have I been able to turn the adversity in my life into opportunities. I have always been able to find my way around roadblocks and hurdles that would’ve stopped me completely if I didn’t have the right attitude and mindset.

In 2009 I was going through trials and tribulations in my personal and business life. Not to share too many details, but I had lost my way. I was feeling burned out, losing my business location due to local planning and zoning codes, and was feeling detached from my family. I felt as if I were sinking in quicksand with nothing or no one to help me out. 

I finally came to the sobering reality that I was going to either sink or swim. I decided to swim because I couldn’t stand the thought of letting myself fail and fall victim to what life was serving up to me.  

Here are some things I did to get myself moving back in the right direction.

I prayed and made peace with my situation. I quickly realized that feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on what I was struggling with did me no good. All I was doing was sabotaging my ability to move forward.

I began to pray more and make peace with where I was in life. I spent time processing what things led me to where I was, and I took total, and absolute, responsibility for my actions. This allowed me to accept the situation I was in and to move on quickly. 

One of my mentors told me that it’s okay to look back, but don’t stare.

I refused to give in! Whatever you do, you can’t give in to your situation and let it completely consume you. I forced myself to have amnesia and forget the past, and march forward with complete focus and determination.

Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

The point Michael Jordan is conveying is that if you refuse to give in to adversity, you can reach heights that you once thought impossible. I knew that I had to fully commit myself to moving forward and stay determined and motivated. As time went on, I found myself gaining momentum and dreaming bigger than ever before. 

I began to embrace adversity as a chance for opportunity and growth.  They say that pressure creates diamonds, and I believe that adversity creates opportunity if you let it. These moments of adversity can either grind us down or catapult us to new heights, depending on how we choose to interpret them and respond. 

Notice the important word “choose.” I chose to use my adversity to make me the best version of me that I could be. I used adversity as a tool to become stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. I have trained my mind to look for opportunity anytime adversity rears its ugly head. 

I believe that maintaining a positive outlook in all situations will expose new opportunities not seen before. During tough periods of adversity, I found an even better location for my business, became a better spouse and father, and re-ignited my career.

Battling adversity is just a part of life that is mostly out of our control. During these challenging times, I encourage you to stay positive and to seek the opportunities that will surely come to pass if you have the right attitude.

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