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Overcoming Adversity – How I Survived POST 9/11

Overcoming Adversity – How I Survived POST 9/11

As many of you know, I am a survivor of the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001.  Every year on this day, September 11th, it seems like a thousand people tell me how glad they are that I’m alive, and in their lives.  Though it makes me feel good, I can’t say I feel that I did anything special.  All I did was figure out a solid method for overcoming adversity.  Sadly, many of the people that were there didn’t do so well with the same issues, and their lives have suffered for it even 11 years later.

Below we will discuss exactly what I figured out, that helped me to move PAST all the nonsense, all the dread and horror of that terrible day, and helped me get my life on track.

Become bigger than your problems, and any adversity can be diminished when met head on.

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”
Henry J. Kaiser

In business, there will not only be obstacles as we discussed before, but there may be something that comes up that can be a serious problem.  In traditional business for example, people can get sued.  This can be a problem, and if big enough, can even sink a company.  Luckily, in our business of being home based entrepreneurs, getting sued is an extreme rarity, but little things do occur from time to time that need to be dealt with in an orderly fashion.

There will always be hurdles and obstacles you need to cross, and there will even be setbacks that will make you want to give it all up.

Just remember this, “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” Dutch Proverb

Sometimes we will have failures, and there will be turmoil, and some days will be brighter than others.  This is life, and there is no getting around the ups and downs.  We just try to have more ups, and make the downs as painless as possible.  So how do we do that?  How do we make the “downs” painless or less painful?

This is easy.  Become bigger than your problem.  Every time there is an issue that arises, take a step back, and think it over.  Do not give it the attention of being a serious problem, but just a minor setback that you can deal with if you try, and you know deep down that you will handle this one too.  This is you growing as a person, and being bigger than your problem!  YOU are infinite, YOU are eternal, YOU are a manifestation of God incarnate.  You can handle a minor setback in your business.

Even in times that seem like failure, they are not negative unless you associate them with negative attention.  Failures are the foundational pillars on which the palace of success is built.  Every time you “fail,” you learn something new.  You gather new insight, and it very well could lead you off in a new and often times more profitable direction.  What is failure anyway?  Failure is nothing but inspiration, education, feedback, and a path to something greater.

How you see an issue will determine if it is a real problem that will hold you back, or a mere obstacle through which you can advance.  Just consider this, what you see as a problem will be seen by a more successful person as an opportunity for profit and success.

The successful person does not strive to avoid all problems, but he becomes bigger than the “problem” at hand by growing himself, allowing him to maneuver around it unscathed, and many times better off.

Check this out:

“Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned, but the second mouse, he struggled so hard that he eventually churned that cream into butter and he walked out.”

I love this story.  That one mouse become BIGGER than the problem, and worked hard to get out of a difficult situation.  This should be a lesson to us all, but you have overcome adversity yourself.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you learned how to ride a bike as a child.  I’m also going to assume you didn’t succeed on your very first try.  The odds are good that you fell down a few times, just like I did.  Even though you fell down, you saw other kids riding their bikes and knew it could be done, so you got back on the bike and tried it again.  You overcame adversity, you overcame the obstacle, and you were bigger than your problem of finding it difficult to stay on two wheels.

You had a few things going for you here.  One was that you had a bike, or a method by which a certain result could be produced.  The next thing you had was a coach, or a trainer.  You had someone to show you the ropes, and help you to become successful in riding that bike.  The third thing you had was conviction.  You KNEW it could be done because other people were doing it all over the street.  At that young age, you didn’t have any fears or doubts that you wouldn’t be able to ride that bike, you just did it!

I want that same person to come back to you, with all of the enthusiasm, all the courage, and all of the conviction of that child you were learning to ride a bike.  Bring that to the table every day, and you WILL be successful in your life.

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In Prosperity,

Jeff Sokol


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- who has written 15 posts on Work with Author, Coach, and Trainer, Jeff Sokol.

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