I’m not a big fan of experiencing difficult times, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need. Sometimes it takes a personal earthquake to shake us out of the rut of habit, flawed assumptions, and inertia that is keeping us on a track that is no longer (or maybe never was) right for us.
In my most recent podcast, I interviewed Erik Weihenmayer, a blind climber who summitted Mount Everest in 2001. Erik is a best-selling author, a motivational speaker, and has turned overcoming adversity into an art form. His most recent book, The Adversity Advantage (co-authored with Dr. Paul Stoltz), focuses on how to use adversity to propel you forward.
As we talked about how to deal with the adversity that so many people are facing right now, Erik noted: “Sometimes these tough times are the best times to make a change in our life. Sometimes the adversity that we face is the catalyst that we need to do it.”
Looking back over my career, I have to agree. Some of the most positive changes have been the direct result of painful, challenging situations that propelled me into something energizing and new.
But if we get too caught up in the pain and the fear, it’s easy to miss the opportunity. If you find yourself feeling battered by these challenging times, step back for a moment and ask: “What is this that's shaking loose? What have I been hanging on to that I need to let go? How have I been limiting myself? What changes could I make?”
You still have to figure out how to get through the challenging time, but if you don’t stop to examine what possibilities are being shaken loose, you just might miss the gift completely.
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.