Remember being picked on?
I sure do and it sucked.
Ever lost badly?
Sure, we all have. It hurts, but you get over it.
Ever gone bankrupt?
It’s scary, but life goes on.
We’ve all had tough times in our lives, but as the saying goes, “whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,” and today I’m stronger.
This is the school that so many parents today protect kids against: the school of hard knocks.
Bullying, being made fun of, getting beaten up, getting creamed in sports, making a fool of yourself in public, there are so many tough lessons of life the only question is whether you’re going to let them define you.
Me, I like to use anger to motivate me.
When people tell me I can’t do something it makes me want to do it that much more.
The thing is, today, in every facet of our lives, we seem to think we are smart enough to change human nature.
As a child, I always loved the 3 Little Pigs and loved that the wolf got what was coming to him. Today, some books have the wolf becoming friends with the pigs after seeing the error of his ways. Huh?!
Then there are those psychologists who say that cartoons that are violent, but I watched Jerry inflict serious injuries on poor Tom time and time again and yet I’m not all messed up. And while I’m on cartoons, how many times did the Coyote fall down that dang Canyon? I always did love his Acme devices.
But it’s no longer being confined to kids. Today we save banks, that for lack of a better word, messed up. Citibank, JP Morgan, Bank of America…the list is long and illustrious but what are we saying when there’s always someone there with a safety net?
Life is full of dangers. Most of which are unassuming; crossing the street, playing on the jungle gym, driving, riding a bicycle, disease, and health, to name just a few. Today, people have come to expect safety nets to the point when they forget there are dangers.
Sooner or later, though they’ll come to terms that life doesn’t come with a safety net and we must protect ourselves.
We can’t always expect mom or dad to protect us from bullies, but we can take a Krav Maga course or sign up for any one of the many martial arts.
At school, teachers may expect students to hold hands and cross the finish line together, but in business it’s a dog-eat-dog world and “take no prisoners” definitely applies. Business is tough. And competitors lurk at every corner; colleagues that want your job, other sales people that want your commission.
There are failures and there are dangers. There are good people, and there are bad. That’s just the way it is here.
Instead of shying away from adversity we need to come to grips with it.
Failure is not always bad. It does hurt, no doubt about that, but you can learn a heck of a lot from it.
And the harder the pain, the more you remember it.
Learning about our weaknesses or deficiencies give us the opportunity to change them. Doesn’t always mean we will, but at least we are given the choice.
Speaking as a parent myself, I know how hard it is to step back and let your kids face danger head on.
Below is a video I came across on 60 minutes. It’s heartbreaking, but at the same time inspiring.
Too often we forget just how resilient we can be if we are put to the test.
In life, and in business, very often it’s not the smartest or the strongest person that wins, but the one with the most resilience.
That being said, I don’t wish tough times on anyone, but I do believe that we need to exercise our mental and physical muscles to deal with adversity because you never know when it’s going to strike next.