Our life experiences progress like the changing seasons of the earth. As human beings, we have the blessing and responsibility to learn how to: work hard through our summers, harvest our crop in the fall, handle even the harshest winters and to take full advantage of the blossoming spring. So if our winters look like a defeat and our springs look like victory, a Real Winner finds a way to take advantage of all seasons (including winter) and not just how to handle them.
Napoleon Hill once taught me that, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.” Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success. When I grasped that, I realized that failure is not the opposite of success; it’s actually a part of the program.
When the Real Winner gets knocked down: He bounces right up, learns the lesson, forgets the beating, and keeps moving forward towards his dream. For he knows that he may have lost this battle, but he also knows that this war is far from over. The only thing that separates a Real Winner from the average Joe is their response to defeat.
It’s only natural for us to want all of the glory when we win. But it is also a natural tendency to blame someone else in times when we lose. After a painful “slap to the face,” we almost instantly become so emotionally distraught that we fail to recognize the actual lesson from the event. Truly successful people take the time to evaluate the setback and actually learn God’s teaching. I can remember a countless number of times where the biggest slap to my face also happened to be the best advice I had ever received.
So have the courage to face your faults. You gain absolutely nothing from trying to prove that someone else is to blame. Next time that it seems as if all is going wrong, calm down and actually find the cause of it all. By actually finding out the cause you avoid the whole event from ever even happening again. Really ask yourself, ‘Why did I fail?’ ‘How can I win next time?’ Facing our faults not only helps us spring forward to the success we seek, but it also helps us to develop a more pleasing personality for others to enjoy about you as well. Be a real professional at life. They identify their faults and weaknesses, and then they correct them. That’s what makes a professional a professional.
A very close friend of mine taught me how crucial it is that we learn to appreciate both the good and also the bad. Without ‘the bad’ we wouldn’t be able to realize and compare how much we actually care. I may not know why God did what he did to me at that point in time. But everything happens for a reason, right? Polarity is a universal law and a rich gift from God if you learn how to maintain its balance. Focus on non-attachment and trust the course of your life. Even when it doesn’t make much sense at that time.
Trust that you are exactly where you need to be right now. We are not smarter than God. Just because I think something should happen NOW NOW NOW does not mean that He agrees. Look at Job from the Bible. God took everything from him, and he didn’t even do anything wrong. But once he learned his lessons and learned to surrender to what is, God gave everything back to him… tenfold.
If you really want The Gold: realize that you will have to face opposition, hardship, and setbacks. It’s unavoidable; especially when we are moving in the direction of our dreams. But like they say, “one step backward will spring you two steps forward!” So celebrate the life lessons. When you trust that God put you there for a reason, you actually learn to be excited about what blessings the eternal tomorrow brings.
Often times it is best to back off and start afresh. Sometimes we look so closely into the problem, and for so long, that we become blind from seeing any new methods or solutions. Whether it’s leaving for a vacation, a short weekend getaway, or even just to back away from the desk and going for a walk. You find the refreshment of clearing the mind completely, and as soon as you know it, the solution pops into your head out of nowhere.
My family and I decided to delete the word “Problem” from our vocabulary a long time ago. Problems? We don’t have problems. We are too blessed to get those. We prefer to take on our setbacks as challenges, obstacles, and opportunities instead. See the difference? Problems seem overbearing, unsolvable and allow for no room for personal growth. But a challenge sounds stimulating, an obstacle sounds achievable, and an opportunity… sounds fun!
Even when a situation seems impossible to repair, there is always a way! Even The Greats had encountered criticism, discouragement, and upsets along their journey. But that’s what made achieving their ultimate desires so sweet, no? Even Michael Jordan missed more game-winning shots than he had won. Read the biographies of the great people that you admire. It doesn’t matter who it is you choose to read about; you will discover that each of these individuals could have surrendered many times along their way. When you think positively about any situation, you create for ideas to move you forward. But when you think negatively about it, you become a stinker-thinker. Those guys don’t get anywhere. You knew that the road to your ultimate dream would be a rocky one. So always look at your experience from a positive standpoint. We have to keep grinding until we take our last breath. If we don’t keep moving forward, we’ll get run over. So don’t give up. One day, God will have your fruit fully ripened. When you take that juicy bite, the wait will be worth it. I promise.
Nothing is impossible. Arnold Schwarzenegger knows that Bill Gates knows that, Michael Phelps knows that, Adidas knows that… and you also know that too. So focus on the good side and turn this defeat into victory. It’s only a state of mind and nothing more. You always win if you never accept defeat. So find the lesson, apply the lesson, and then look back on defeat… and give it the bird. ; )
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