Adversity is defined as being an adverse fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress. In other words, something not fun – a stick in your bicycle spokes! Additional words used to describe the meaning of adversity include affliction, hardship, trial and trouble. All of which form definitions that include the testing of one’s character, and strength (emotional, mental and physical in some cases). Not in anyway something one would choose to endure. Yet, we can all expect to face some form of adversity in our lives.
“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” – Winston Churchill
The majority of the population does not have any set goals that they are striving for. I am not deceived enough to believe they do; complacency has become a way of life for too many. Everything is being made to be faster and easier for the average person; people are being taught to believe they deserve “simple pleasures” of life. There is a chunk of the population who are set out on a journey to their goals and dreams, though. If this is you, this post is to encourage you to “just keep swimming”. If this isn’t you and you don’t currently have any goals you are actively journeying towards, these next few lines are for you. Then, after you have decided to join in a journey to a life filled with more meaning, excitement and discovery, this post is to encourage you to “just keep swimming” too!
What would your life look like five years from now if you could design it perfectly – time and money being no issue? If you won millions on this weekend’s lottery jackpot, what would you do, where would you go, what would you buy, who would you help? Do you have the answers to any of these written down anywhere? If not, how to you expect to journey in the direction towards your goals and dreams if you have nothing to keep you on course but a few random thoughts you may day dream during a slow day at the office? Perhaps you don’t have the “vehicle” required to get you to your goals and dreams. Perhaps you are scared of failing or looking like a fool. If you aren’t prepared when opportunity does knock, chances are good you will miss it anyway. So why not prepare?
“I will prepare and someday my chance will come” – Abraham Lincoln
Adversity is a part of life. If there is one thing we can be sure of is that we will all have to face some form of adversity throughout our lives. How we choose to prepare ourselves, and then react and respond when the adversity approaches is the key. There is no point to have our heads in the sand like an ostrich, subconsciously we all know we will have to face something, someday.
Choose to live your life with meaning, honour, integrity and respect. Strive to be something great and to make a difference in the lives of others. Start by changing yourself. This change in yourself will have an unknown ripple effect to so many! As I mentioned above, today’s society is one of complacency. Its like everyone is just along for the ride. No one will oppose you as long as you too are just along for the ride. As it has been said by so many “others want you to get by, just not by them.” The moment someone feels intimidated by you striving for greatness get ready for that adversity we spoke about.
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe
Taking a path less travelled is tough. Hence, the reason its less travelled in the first place. But greatness and making a difference in our deteriorating societal values is important. It takes discipline and persistence to achieve the freedoms of a great life. (I say greatness and a great life, because I don’t know specifically what it is for you. Maybe its just raising your children with the values and morals that mean something; maybe its being rich financially, maybe its being rich in relationships like your marriage; I don’t know what it is for you – that’s for you to discover). Whatever it is, it is going to be a journey to get there. You will be faced with adversity along the way. So know that now and prepare mentally, at least. Make a commitment to not give up. You will have nay-sayers; some of which will surprise you as to who they are and the things they may say. But just remember to “just keep swimming” the whole way through.
From the words of Dory in the popular children’s movie Finding Nemo; “when life gets you down , you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”