Crises Inspires Breakthroughs

“Our greatness lay not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves”
~  Mahatma Gandhi

“Psychological suffering, anxiety and collapse lead to new emotional, intellectual and spiritual strengths. Confusion and death can lead to new scientific ideas.”
~ Dr. Ilya Prigogine

“A personality is born of chaos. Resistance to chaos can only beget more chaos and resistance”
~ Stephen Wolinsky

Failure and adversity are better teachers than success and prosperity because they require us to dig deep and discover new talents and resources not yet recognized or understood. A trip to the bottom is what fuels the trip to the top.

We learn to deal with adversity by dealing with adversity. Therefore, failure is not to be avoided it is to be embraced. This counter intuitive concept is hard for most people to understand and accept because our environment teaches us that failure is bad and should be avoided.

The kid who never falls off a bike seldom becomes the best bike rider. The salesperson who avoids rejection never gets good at selling. The best at anything have all failed thousands of times in their attempt to become good.

When we experience adversity it is hard to think beyond the immediate pain and disappointment. But moving beyond the immediate pain is what we must do if we are to grow and mature emotionally. Instead of pissing and moaning when we experience adversity we should accept it, acknowledge it and then move on by using it as a lesson learned.

In our sales training program, we teach taking every failure and rejection and reflecting and debriefing in a written journal what happened, why it happened and then analyzing what we will do differently next time we are faced with that same opportunity. Failure to debrief and to rehearse how we will do it differently next time ensures that we will repeat the same behavior over and over again with the same result.

Walt Disney used his experience of being fired as a cartoonist from a Kansas City newspaper to fuel his desire to create Disney Studios. Oprah Winfrey used her experience of being fired as a news anchor in Baltimore to launch her show. Lance Armstrong used his battle with cancer to propel him to his seven Tour de France wins.

As the bumper sticker says. “Shit Happens”. And it happens to every one of us. Sooner or later if you live long enough you will experience failure, disappointment, a near death experience, loss of a loved one, a debilitating illness and more. Life is full of disappointment. You cannot escape it.

When you are faced with these situations you can use them as stepping stones to become something greater than what you are or you can use them as excuses to self-destruct.

Since you cannot avoid failure and disappointment in this life it only makes sense that you get good at using them to make you something greater than what you are. There really is no other choice except to crawl in a hole, feel sorry for yourself and wither away. That’s a miserable way to live.

1 reply
  1. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Great truth here. I just had a $72K deal that was “in the bag” fall through b/c of circumstances totally out of my control or my client’s control (they are a bank and the regulators informed them the week they were to authorize my deal that they would be camped out at the bank for at least 5 to 6 weeks and this put everything on hold). Now I have to refocus my efforts on getting more leads from other sources so I can make up the shortfall with additional sales. I’ve written some articles that will be placed in some state banking magazines and I created some Google AdWords that will hopefully drive some other conversions. Bottom line: without this adversity I would not have focused on these other promotional/lead generating venues. Who know…it could be a great thing that this happened.

    Reply

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