We are accustomed to treasuring the good times and doing our best to forget the horrible times. But we will live stunted lives if we continue along this path.
Life is an experienced teacher and has had many chances and instances to hone and perfect her craft to instill the necessary lessons that enable us to navigate the river of life.
Life uses the good and the bad times to teach important lessons. If we only refer to the good and pleasant times, we run the risk of getting a half-baked education. Life’s bad moments provide us with memorable teaching points that we should not forget, as these 10 points highlight:
- Your true friends emerge
Trying circumstances are the times of testing during which you find out the true nature of your friends and companions. Many friends flock to you when times are good, but they soon become scarce when the tide is turned against you.
The friends who stick by you through thick and thin are the ones you will and should treasure the most throughout your lifetime.
2. True character emerges
As the life of Abraham Lincoln has shown, a man’s (and woman’s) true colours emerge during tines of adversity. Hard times force one to be resourceful and to come to terms with his or her true natures. Hard decisions have to be made, and the outcomes will show forth your priorities and values.
When the rubber hits the road, what comes out is the real deal, with no fancy packaging.
3. Humility and self-awareness arise
As the old saying goes. pride comes before a fall. When people fall, and try to get back on their feet again, their pride takes a hit. It is not easy to strut like a peacock when you are trying to dig your way out of a pit.
Adversity polishes off the rough edges. trims out the sharp ones, and turns the rough carbon of our lives into brilliant diamonds.
4. You learn the value of teamwork
The world today places a high premium on individualism. But none of us actually makes it on our own. Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said it best when he recently said that he did not believe he was a self-made man, but that he had got where he was thanks to the help of others.
The hard times force us to turn to others for help, and in so doing, remind us that we are all meant to live in community, not isolation.
5. You place a premium on gratitude
Stormy days can make quick work of resources, and destroy what may have taken years to build. Gratitude is often furthest from our minds during those times, but the act of saying “Thank you” opens our hearts and minds to opportunities that will come up to help you through your circumstances.
Acts of gratitude also remind us that, contrary to conventional wisdom, we are not in control of many things in our life. So a grateful spirit leads to a life that is at peace and in sync with nature and our higher selves.
6. You find out about your own gifts
Being faced with hardship, humiliation or misery, we soon find that our friends, relatives and outside sources cannot help us all the way or inadvertently give us wrong or inappropriate advice. Such is the human condition.
Under these circumstances. we have to look inward and toward our inner resolve and strength. The lessons we learnt from childhood, our observations and what we have learnt along life’s journey will then become our guide.
The clouds eventually pass and the silver linings appear. And that is when we realise that we are stronger than we think we are.
7. Relationships are valued
We are social beings and were never meant to live alone or in isolation. Along our life journeys, we may have burned bridges with some relationships and inadvertently messed up on others. Hard times remind us of the faithfulness of past friends and comrades and can spur us to work towards repairing or reconciling those broken ties.
These efforts will then remind us never to take anyone for granted again.
8. You will be inoculated against the next bad bout
There are lessons from every subject, and hard times are no exception. The takeaways from every disaster will serve you well against the next calamity. And believe me, the calamities will come.
9. You will treasure the value of rest
As the photograph above states, the world is beautiful when we stop for a cup of tea (or coffee). No matter how urgent or desperate your situation is, take the time to sit back and have a cuppa and take in the big picture.
The big picture will help you prioritise your activity, marshal your resources and guide you to be more productive.
10. You will inspire others
Good times make for happy reading, but rising up from adversity never fails to capture an audience. The lessons you learn from your bad times will be a better teacher to your children, friends, peers and audience than the lists of your accolades or achievements. Rags to riches stories (or rages to riches, then to tags and then again to riches) stay in our heads long after the events have passed on.
So don’t be too quick to spurn the bad breaks or calamities in your lives. Turn them into your friends and make them work for you instead of against you. And your life will be all the richer for it.