equation

By Mark E. Smith

I’ve known and heard the most inspirational speakers in the world – from Nick Vujicic to W. Mitchell. However, when I heard one of my colleagues recently speak to a group of teens, it stopped me in my tracks and gave me goosebumps. How was it that I’d never heard such profound words come from the world’s best speakers?

“Some call what I have a disability,” he said to the students, noting his going totally blind in his 20s, but now in his 50s. ”However, I just call it a ‘problem,’ because problems have solutions.”

If we expand his philosophy beyond visual impairment or disability, think how liberating that is. So many of us see any form of adversity as a roadblock, end-of-the-line, full stop. I can’t do that because of… fill in the blank. We allow adversity to stop us because we don’t allow ourselves any alternatives.

Yet, what if we follow my colleague’s astounding wisdom, where adversity isn’t a full stop, but simply a problem that needs solving? OK, here I am – how do I solve this?

That single question changes everything, doesn’t it? It takes a situation that’s seemingly out of our control and puts us completely in control. It allows us to turn pessimism into perseverance. Most importantly, it allows us to turn adversity into opportunity.

As I learned in hearing my colleague speak to the teens that day, adversity is a great problem to have – because problems always have solutions.

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