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Ten Survival Strategies

Getting Through Times of Adversity

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If one thing is for certain, each of us will experience some form of adversity while we are still breathing on this Earth. Unfortunately, some of us will experience more than our fair share of adversity, either in the workplace or in our personal lives.

Over the years, I feel I have been fortunate to experience unpleasant and often times, life-altering situations. Although at times I find it difficult to sustain a positive attitude while working through adverse situations, whether it be the lose of a job, a relationship breakup, looked over for a promotion or battling a major health issue, I know deep down that by working through and learning to find purpose and meaning in these situations is where I will encounter my greatest triumphs.

I have often said we may "go through adversity", but we may not know how to "get through adversity." Each time I experience something unpleasant I ask myself "what can I learn from this situation and how has my past behavior contributed to my current state?" Instead of burying my head in the sand just waiting for time to pass, or the Universe to forget about the situation, I actively work through the adversity, which helps ease the pain and frustration.

As I assess what I have learned and how I have grown through the years, I have shaped 10 survival strategies that have allowed me to get through the tough times.

Ten Survival Strategies

  1. Patience - This could be the hardest of all to achieve although one of the first thing we must develop when faced with adversity. The key to developing patience is to know in the end everything will work out the way it is intended to. Also key to developing patience is surrendering your self to the fact that there is a time frame for everything. I like to use the analogy - that if you want to have a baby even though you (or your wife) may be pregnant you still have to wait the gestation period before the baby actually arrives.

  2. Forgiveness - Forgive the other person for wronging you. By not allowing yourself to forgive you utilize a great deal of negative energy as you harbor old thoughts and feelings. Learn to forgive and use this same energy in a positive way to take back your life. While forgiving the other person make certain you forgive your self for any misgivings or shortcomings, otherwise half the negative energy still remains.

  3. Acceptance - Accept the hand you were dealt - even a pair deuces can win the game.

  4. Thankfulness - Be thankful for the adversity. Adversity is God's way of saying you are worthy of my teachings.

  5. Detachment - We have all heard the phrase "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was." If something is meant to be a part of your life, it will materialize, so there is no need to desperately hold onto anything.

  6. Understanding: Why This vs. Why Me? - I feel our first inclination when something negative happens to us we ask "why me?" Normally asking this question doesn't provide any answers other than making us feel guilty for having asked it in the first place. Really, why not you? No one is immune to pain. Simply reword the question and ask "why this?" By asking "why this" it typically leads us to understanding our past thoughts and actions that may have (karmically) contributed to our current state, allowing us to get to the root of the situation.

  7. Meditation or Quiet Time - It is only in the silence can we hear God's voice. Allow for quiet time to reflect up your desires and listen closely and intently to what is happening all around you. You will find your answers in the silence.

  8. Maintain a Creative Mind - Eliminate boredom otherwise it will lead you toward frustration and depression. Take up a hobby, do some writing, volunteer your time or spend time with friends and family. Any, or all of this, will make you feel good about yourself, allowing you to want to move forward.

  9. Work Toward the Future - Even if you do not feel things are moving forward, work on creating the future you desire. You can plant tiny seeds by going back to school, read material that is related to your desires, commit by writing out your goals and desires or network with like-minded people. Each step you take, no matter how small moves you toward your future.

  10. Trust - Let Go and let God. All we really have control over is our actions and a gut feeling (or hearts desire) of what we hope the outcome of our lives to be. The rest is up to a higher power greater than our own. Trust the Universe will provide you with exactly what you need when you need it.
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