The Power of Perspective: How to Come Out Better Off From Adversity

‘ll tell you one thing: when it comes to physical growth, it’s something I picked up on super quickly- not that I had a choice. Evidenced by a constant rotation of new clothes, cramming into cars, or straight up hitting my head on low ceilings and door frames, rapid growth was just a part of my life.

However, what I’m most interested in lately is the other side- the mental side. Growth in that area is much less obvious, yet more important. To be willing to change and adapt to what is around is an ability that serves each person, and specifically the mindset around that and problems that arise can feel like a make or break in dealing with it all.

In other words, how we see challenges and adversity will determine the ability to overcome them when they come around.

And just like everything else, it’s a habit.

I’ve read some interesting things lately that support the claims that how we interpret a problem or obstacle influences how we’ll be able to actually get through it, and how we’ll be left afterwards. This is where growth comes into play. Adversity is always going to be tough, clearly as it’s in the definition itself. But when a challenge presents itself, however harmful, draining, or distressing it is, looking at it from a point that’s determined to see an opportunity to grow changes how we move through it- and what we’re left with when it passes.

This school of thought is based off of viewing adversity through two sets of goggles. One of these lenses show a struggle as something debilitating, hampering and a source of stress. The other shows a landscape from the bottom up littered with rationalization of ways this will help benefit some aspect, or promote growth in some way.

This is similar in the motivational mantras we see from time to time that preach the importance of failure and how it’s necessary before success. It’s from the same branch of perspective and requires the same mentality. The only difference with this is that it’s applicable into everyday life and the struggles that present themselves. Big or small, the philosophy remains the same.

Psychology supports this by offering that we have two routes when presented with adversity (small challenges all the way up to immense ones), and that’s growth or trauma. Framing things from the former perspective enables us with this ability to become better, smarter, stronger- whatever we wholeheartedly believe is possible. This isn’t my own idea, rather something I was drawn to and am now reiterating to go along with my own insights.

Science tells us that this concept of belief in growth over trauma is possible with anything. I’m not disparaging or taking away from the horrors that some people go through, because sometimes it’s beyond difficult and overwhelming. My two cents on the matter is mainly that plugging in this habit first with minor challenges repetitively, and often, can help put us in the position to do so when the bigger problems come along. Every person is a bundle of their own habits, and making a frequent effort to reason what all of the positive benefits the not-so-positive things bring can shape how we feel during adversity, and what we’re left with when it passes.

Reverting back to the motivational cliches, if Michael Jordan being cut from the varsity team was seen from the traumatic lens, we might never have known the now-household name. If Dr. Seuss had seen each rejection from children’s publication companies as a sign to quit, we might not have seen his world of fantasy and art.

Brainstorming all the different, intricate ways that any certain challenge can push you forward, strengthen you, or make you wiser helps growth while also showing just how possible moving beyond the struggle is.

Starting small seems to help with me, making those a habit before tackling the major stuff.

These are just my thoughts and I’d love to hear yours- feel free to comment or write a message. Also liking and sharing content is always a huge help, thanks for the support!

How Having The Wrong Mindset Will Kill You

The human mind is crazy, and the things it’s capable of really blow me away. Having the right mindset when looking at the intimidatingly mountainous task of making something of yourself is everything; failing to do so can keep you stuck standing still. I myself used to be quite the negative guy, justifying my pessimism by attributing it to only being ‘realistic’.

“Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.”

I came across this quote the other day from the legendary Will Smith, long since my favourite celebrity since he showed the world how fresh being a prince in a rich suburb really was. First, I took these words in for what they are and internalized them. Second, I posted about it to contribute to Will Smith Wednesday (it’s a real thing, and I shouldn’t even be surprised that the internet beat me to the punch on this one).

If you follow this stud through out his career, you can see just how relentlessly hard he works in order to get to where he is- and I’ve also always admired how he never hides from his emotions or feelings, regardless of what it might make people think. As being honest and vulnerable with yourself has been a pretty big theme lately, you can see why this is a big deal.

But it made me think about placebo and how well-documented it is about how much tricking the mind can really do. From things such as people feeling stronger and more balanced when they put a rubber band on their wrist, to people literally being exposed to stuff they’re allergic to and feeling nothing because they took a pill to supposedly ‘counteract’ their allergy (when it was nothing but a capsule of sugar).

Seriously, even studies were done on placebo trials with dogs suffering from epilepsy, and found that both control groups of dogs reacted positively to the medication- and again, one group of pills was nothing. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one, but great news for the pups.

So what does that mean for us? When I heard about stuff like this I felt a burning desire to harness this in some way to really maximize what I’m capable of, plus those around me.

If someone came from the future, gave you some irrefutable evidence that they were in fact straight out of the future and McFlyin’ back only to let you know how wildly successful you were about to become in a few years- would you believe them?

This drives me wild. If there was undeniable evidence of something so definite and concrete about how we are going to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted to achieve, you have no other choice but to believe it. Making this change in your mind opens pathways in your head, and your brain sets out to work on routing the journey between where you are, and where you are told you are going.

If this sounds crazy to you- good.

But believe it or not, the visionaries and monumental innovators in this world all started as bright-eyed students of life, planning their moves that would soon change the world. Don’t think for a second that these people did not possess a grande, elaborate visual of what was to come. Thinking and visualizing all of the intricacies and tiny details about what you want out of yourself and your life is the biggest step you can take to start hiking towards that mental picture. From being the CEO of some outlandish company to fully taking control of your own happiness, whatever you want most is yours.

Allowing yourself to see the finished product before you’re done is like building a puzzle and having some of the pieces around the border put together, making it easier because you’re able to visualize the puzzle completed and whole.

Why would your dreams be any different?

Thinking for success is the first step, but it is still nothing without knowing. Converting this belief into a rock-solid knowledge is necessary and removes the doubts in your mind that might end up slowing you down. You need to let your mind know how possible what you’re doing is before you’re able to see solutions and actions to get you closer to your goal. If you think something simply cannot be done, you immediately shut down a huge chunk of your mind’s power generators that can be utilized to produce solutions to obstacles in your way. Your mind will not be creative in seeking out an answer for something you’ve already taped off as impossible. Why would it?

“I can create whatever I want to create.”

Another piece of gold from Will, and I encourage you to check out the engine underneath the hood of the people that inspire you most. Understanding what makes these people tick can shed some light on how you can help yourself improve.

And for placebo- be that friend around everyone that’s always feeding people heaps of positivity. If you’re able to tell people what they’re good at, the simple reality is that they will truly become better at it. I would say to keep things realistic, but studies have even shown how placebos still work even when the group knows they are taking a placebo. This means that even when people know that the medication or aid is completely fake, it still makes them do better than the people without it.Β Β If that doesn’t tell you to always believe in yourself, I don’t know what will.

Now I’ll ask again: if someone all-knowing could tell you how wildly successful and happy you will be in the future, would you believe them?

Why can’t it be you?