Quite often, people set out with visions of grandeur concerning a concept or project. They are all excited and jacked up for the prospect of succeeding or having a windfall. Then the unexpected happens, and something pops up that becomes an impediment to said success. I say unexpected, but the reality is that roadblocks and pitfalls should be very much expected. It’s very rare when a plan is executed without a hitch.
The moment of the impediment provides a clear indicator of what a person is made of, and how they handle it will define their character. What would be common reactions in these circumstances? There could be a variety, but ultimately you can boil things down to three general responses when facing adversity:
1) Quit. Simple as that. Some folks can’t face adversity and panic when it arises, so they pack up their toys and go home. Well this is obviously an inappropriate response; I would assume all would agree that we don’t want that person in our corner or on our team.
2) Stay the course. Some folks are completely focused on the mission in front of them and they put their heads down during adversity to try to charge through the issues. This is admirable and is not an awful choice at the onset, but when the same course of action doesn’t get you to where you need to be and your efforts become futile, it’s probably best to change the direction and approach.
3) Adapt and overcome. The folks who stop and think through multiple solutions are most likely to achieve success. You can’t let adversity stop you, but you have to be real about the situation and true to yourself. If your planned course is not the right one to achieve your goals, then you must alter the plan to get you to your destination. Focused flexibility is how the goals should always be approached. Focused in that you know where you need to be, and flexible on how you get there.
I may be over-simplifying things, and there are most likely hybrids of what I have laid out above. However, when facing adversity, most situations can fall into these three basic areas. I believe it is crucial to identify and understand the potential courses of action prior to actually selecting one. So, if you are faced with adversity in the future, stop and think about these three possible reactions and before you proceed, realize that giving up cannot be part of the plan.
The fact of the matter is that the biggest obstacle to success is the person himself/herself. Failure occurs when they shut down or are married to the plan of action. No goal is too lofty. Any goal is attainable. People are achieving them every day. What separates success from failure is what’s inside the person making the attempt. To reach your goals you can never, ever give up and you can’t be obstinate in how you are going to get there. If you have the determination and the vision, you will achieve your goals.
Don’t give failure the satisfaction – never give up.