How to Handle Adversity – IX Skill #5

By: Jim Murphy

This is the 5th in a series on the 7 skills of Inner Excellence.


5 keys to handling adversity.

1. Everything (and everyone I encounter) is here to teach me and help me, it’s all working for my good.
2. The problem is not the problem, the problem is the state you enter when you think about the problem.
3. Adversity is required for an extraordinary life.
4. You don’t know what’s best for you.
5. Read and listen to the stories of those who’ve gone before you, who’ve faced extraordinary adversity, and learn how it empowered them.

In February 2010, I was in Denver, Colorado and Inner Excellence had just come out in bookstores around the world.  I was $90k in debt and had just spent over 10,000 hours researching and writing the book. And I was falling apart.
I had gotten rid of my TV, over 1/2 my possessions, and went to the desert to find something I could devote my life to, something I was willing to live and die for. Now it felt like I was dying, or perhaps worse, not dying fast enough.
What I didn’t know, was that my life, or more specifically my heart, was being transformed.  I had many fears. Will anyone buy the  book after all those years of writing and research? Will pro athletes embrace Inner Excellence and hire me to teach it to them? Will I even survive? What I also didn’t know, was that those were the wrong questions. A better question is, how is this adversity preparing me for what lies ahead? The problem was the fear and anxiety created when I thought about the “problems.”
I didn’t know that it was all working for my good, that the next two years I would travel to nearly 20 countries and pay off most of the debt.
The suffering I went through was necessary to help others who faced similar fears, necessary to know going forward that I could face any challenge… and necessary for me to surrender my known experiences for unknown possibilities.
What I wanted (immediate success and recognition) was exactly what I did not need, and perhaps would have been the worst thing for me long term. The truth is, I didn’t know what was best for me (circumstance-wise), and neither do you. The great challenge you’ve been facing may have been heaven-sent specifically for you, to become the person you were created to become.
Think about a time you’ve faced adversity. Consider how that adversity shaped you and empowered you in ways that are now advantageous.
What or who have you been resisting lately that may be exactly what you need, to develop patience, or faith, or resilience, that may be necessary for your growth?
Love Jim

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