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Adversity: An Opportunity for Personal Development

Is in the moments of difficulty when a man can find the way to the discovery of his greatest self. When adversity knocks our door, we have different options:  We can embrace it and transform it into an opportunity for personal development, we can let it rule our feelings, emotions and our daily lives, limiting our possibility for development, growth and evolution, or we can do nothing about it, letting a great opportunity pass. What we choose to do in the face of adversity will determine our defeat or our victory.

 

 

"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

 

The truth about adversity is that it possess within a seed that contains the key to our own personal growth. In those moments in our lives, when our external circumstances change, sometimes abruptly, sometimes expecting it, sometimes not, and adversity crosses our path, we feel lost, we feel confused, we do not know what to do, and we scream, we cry, it paralyzes us, and we get stuck. From one moment to another, adversity becomes real, the pain becomes real, but there is also an opportunity in all that struggle that becomes real. An opportunity to grow, to improve ourselves, to evolve and to become the best version of ourselves.

Adversity will challenge us, will make us suffer, will create chaos in our lives, it will make our world tremble, but it will push ourselves forward, it will stretch us to a point that will make us exceed our own limits, and will discover the greatness that we all carry within. We cannot avoid adversity, but we can embrace it and take the most out of it, and once again, the way to do that is by seeing it as an opportunity for spiritual growth and personal development.

 

 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

 

 

It is through the phase of adversity when one can reach its maximum potential. One day I was doing a tour in a winery and I remember when the guide told us about the vineyards located in high altitude. I am not a professional in the area but for what I learned, these vineyards produce a high quality wine, and the particular taste of this wines is caused by different factors, as temperature, the characteristics of the soil, thermal amplitude, and sunlight intensity. The grapes in those vineyards are exposed to different factors and they struggle to survive, and through adversity they develop a variety of exceptional characteristics that produce a unique wine.

What I learned about them? That if we not succumb, if we not surrender, but rather if we rise and face adversity with courage, commitment and perseverance, we will overcome adversity, becoming a better version of ourselves. It all depends on how we react in the face of adversity. It is our attitude and not our current circumstances what really shape our destiny. We cannot change what happened to us, but we can change the way we react to it.

 

 

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

 

 

Are we going to let it kill us, or are we going to do everything we can in order to transform it into an opportunity to become the best version of ourselves? Adversity can transform our lives into a hell, but that hell, no matter how horrible it is, cannot define who we are without our consent. You are the only one who can define who you really are. Your thoughts and your actions will give you a certain experience, and that experience will create your reality.

 

 

 

 

See the opportunity in every difficulty, and transform adversity into an opportunity to become the best version of yourself. Try to see everything with a different perspective, think positive thoughts, learn, improve yourself, do not give up, have faith, stay strong, do everything you can in order to change your reality, and you will become your own hero!

Is Life a Competition?

Since we were children we are taught to compete. Day after day the habit of competing with others is shaped. When we less expect it that habit is created, and our whole life becomes a competition, a competition where we need to beat others in order to be successful. But is life really a competition? Do we need to compete in order to be successful? It is the act of competing with others what give us true victory? Can the result of a competition really define a human being? Let’s find out together more about competition, its definition, level of importance and impact on human beings.

 

 

 

 

According to the dictionary, a competition is “a situation in which someone is trying to win something or be more successful than someone else” In other words, we can define competition as being an opportunity to get a special prize that might have a special significance, or the opportunity to defeat others to declare oneself as being more successful or superior than someone else. Therefore, does this mean that we must focus on defeating others to be successful? It is by doing so, that one truly achieves victory? It is true that through competing with others one evolves, becomes superior, and achieves greatness?

Well, that will depend on the way we see it, that is to say, our own perspective, belief and idea of what a competition truly means. Two different beliefs are going to determine the true meaning of competition and the answers to those questions: 1. The belief that life is a competition, where you have to defeat others in every possible aspect of your life. 2. The belief that life is not a competition at all, and if there is one competition that is with the person you were yesterday.

 

 

 

“The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.” – Washington Allston

 

 

 

The first belief will define competition as the possibility to beat others to be successful, believing that through defeating others one gets true victory, what makes them more superior, what makes them evolve, and so achieve greatness.  The second belief will define competition as being merely the chance to be better than you were yesterday, believing that one is successful, evolves and achieves greatness by becoming the best version of oneself.

The people who have the first belief will focus on winning others. That will be their maximum goal, beating others will become their main desire, and the defeat of others will be their victory.  Those who have the second belief will focus on being better than they were yesterday, and becoming the best version of themselves will be their ultimate goal, and victory for them will mean being the person they were meant to be without needing to defeat others for being so.

 

 

 

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.” – Arthur Ashe

 

 

 

As we can see competition is a word that can have many different meanings. The true is that nowadays people have accepted the first belief, because that is what this society taught us. It taught us that we need to compete, and in every competition, we have to win others in order to be successful. And this is not about sports, this is not a simple game, this is about life. Somehow, they transformed life into a competition. We compete not to become the best version of ourselves, but to simply defeat others, what gave us a wrong idea of life.

Every aspect of our life has become a competition. In every place there is an ongoing competition: In workplaces, schools, universities, homes, neighborhoods, bars, parks, and every corner of this world. We compete to see who has the best car, smartphone, house, clothes, shoes, we compete to see who has the best body, who looks better, who is more beautiful, we compete to see who has the best job, the best position, the best salary, we compete to see who has the best grades, or the most important degree, or anything that will put us in a “high status position”,  we compete to see who has the best birthday, wedding, funeral, it doesn’t matter, the fact is that we have to be better than others, that gives a fake sensation of happiness and success, that seems to fill our empty souls.

 

 

 

“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

 

 

But, do we ever feel complete? No, not really, and that is why we never stop competing. We desperate need to be better than others to feel successful. What we don’t know is that the only person we need to be better than is the person we were yesterday. Being the person we were meant to be, doing the things we love without needing others approval, without needing to beat others, gives us freedom, and that makes us truly successful, that is how you really win this competition called “Life”, which in fact is not a competition at all, or not against others, but a competition against the person we were yesterday. Winning this game, means defeating the person that we are not, becoming the person that we really are, and that means becoming the best version of ourselves.

If you want to improve yourself, to develop your true potential, if you want to succeed at life, you will have to fight to become the person you are capable of becoming, if you believe in yourself and you think you are good enough to be the person you have imagined, then there is no need to compete with others, because you will realize that you don’t have competition, and if you don’t have competition, against whom are you going to compete with?

 

 

 

 

 

Life is not a competition, and if there is one competition, that is against ourselves. We create our own success by exceeding our own standards not by defeating others. So let’s go out and become the best version of ourselves!