What adversity teaches us

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Adversity is a negative or unfortunate experience that disheartens a person, and hinders such person from accomplishing meaningful goals. A period of adversity could be a period of despair, anxiety, or depression. Adversity may spring up from having lost a loved one, experienced a trauma, failed an examination, or fallen into a state of misfortune. There are basically two negative effects of adversity- the first effect is that it lowers the quality of your life, as you become constantly immersed in depression and despair. This, of course, can pose serious health risks. The second effect is that it virtually incapacitates a person from concentrating on achieving meaningful goals. 

While adversities can be very undesirable, we can learn valuable lessons from them. 

Adversity reveals and develops our character

Character is the sum total of all the attitudes that a person has. It defines who a person is, and reveals their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, when adversity comes, it reveals and tests the strength of your character. If you are weak in times of adversity, you become aware of this weakness and may either choose to do something about it or succumb to it. A person’s true character is revealed when they struggle with challenges. Their kindness and generosity are best tested in times of hardship. Their loyalty to a course is best tested when they struggle with hard knocks. 

Other than revealing our character, adversity can also help develop our character. You can become more courageous, patient, perseverant, and tolerant as you strive to overcome those emotional hindrances that are trying to keep you away from achieving your set goals. This consequently leads to greater ability in managing your emotions and channeling your attention to the right direction. We may also add that it develops your emotional muscle, similar to developing strong bodily muscles when one lifts those heavy weights. Therefore, adversity provides you with the perfect opportunity to become more emotionally mature and mentally competent.

Adversity improves your problem-solving skills

Let’s consider a case whereby a boy who is born into poverty, is made to believe that he is doomed to be poor. For such a boy to get out of poverty, he would have to devise intelligent ways to do so. In the process of devising these intelligent ways, he is doing what is known as problem-solving. When adversity comes, your problem-solving skill enables you to search for ways to overcome the adversity. If you knew only opportunity and no adversity, your problem-solving skill will not be well utilized, nor will it be improved. The strongest soldiers are those who go through the toughest drills, and the greatest pilots are those who fly through the toughest storms. A well-developed problem-solving skill will make it easier for you to excel in anything you do.

Adversity makes you thankful for the opportunities you have

It’s true that if you do not know how it’s like to be poor, you cannot understand how fortunate it is to be rich. And if you have always been desired and wanted by the people around you, you may not be able to understand how it feels like to be unwanted. Those who have the greatest empathy, and who are more grateful for what they have, are people who know what it is like to have lacked/suffered/failed. This is because they’ve tasted the bitter and the sweet, and therefore know the difference between the two. They are able to sympathize with those who are going through hard times, because they are able to put themselves in their shoes. 

Overcoming adversities makes it possible for you to inspire others

Everyone loves a success story, and prospective achievers love to hear that great obstacles can be overcome. Poverty, misfortune, the fear of failure and self-doubts are some of the challenges that most people struggle with. Realizing that other people have faced these challenges, overcome them, and pulled through can be a source of inspiration for many. Achieving success after overcoming several obstacles, and sharing your experience with many prospective achievers will help boost their morale. They see you as somebody who’s been where they are, and who, with the right attitudes, has been able to succeed. 

Overcoming adversities gives you great joy and satisfaction

There’s no joy in the world comparable to the joy of being victorious after facing great struggles. The songs of victory are loudest when the battles are hardest. If the journey was smooth-sailing, getting to the final destination wouldn’t feel very fulfilling. You will be highly delighted and proud of yourself after showing great character in turning your dreams into reality. At the end of the day, you will be proud of yourself for what you have become, than for what you have accomplished.