November 4, 2014

Responding to Crisis and Adversity

It’s over! In a matter of seconds, all you had prepared yourself to do ends. It wasn’t planned, anticipated, or expected but none-the-less it is finished!

You don’t have to be a sports fan to grasp the metaphoric nature of games. The rise and fall of emotion, the battles won and lost, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and how a single play can change the hopes and dreams of a young player forever.

“Life has a way of presenting circumstances that will test us and challenge us in ways we can rarely predict.”

The cold, fog, wind, and rain made the conditions miserable inside of Martin Stadium Saturday - conditions that scared off most of the fans. Rising above the conditions was the hope of Cougar fans. But rising above the conditions was the hope that their quarterback, Connor Halliday, would continue his assault on the record books, and find a way to lead the Cougars to a much needed win.

“Halliday fades back to pass, hangs in the pocket until his receiver breaks free, delivers the ball for 14-yard gain,” and “That’s another Cougar first down.”

“Crisis and adversity are deeply woven into the fabric of human existence…Train every day to get as tough as possible…Exercise consistent discipline in all areas of life in order to be prepared for the inevitable emotional hit.”

—James Loehr

Connor Halliday had just thrown his last pass as a college quarterback. After delivering the 1,014 completion of his record setting career, Halliday was hit, fracturing his leg in two places, and ending his college football career.

You don’t have to be a football fan or know Connor Halliday, to realize that crisis and adversity are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives.

A couple weeks my post was titled, “Five Qualities of the Vitally Optimistic.” I wrote,

“Optimism is not living in a fantasy world where nothing tragic ever happens or unexpected challenges do not present themselves; vital optimism is a confidence that tragedy or difficulty is not the last word, that the best is yet to be.”

When we nurture and cultivate five qualities, we will ultimately possess character that is essential to pressing through adversity and challenges.

  1. Optimism - a deeply seeded belief of hope and positive expectation.
  2. Altruism - a willingness and desire to help others in spite of their own condition.
  3. Possessing a moral compass or a set of beliefs that cannot be shattered.
  4. Faith and spirituality - prayer was a daily ritual.
  5. Humor - the ability to find and express humor.

All of us have or will experience a “Connor Halliday” type moment. Some of us may have experienced waves of hardships and tragedies that unnerved us, and shook us to our core. Whatever the tragedy or difficulty it won’t have the final work unless you allow it to.

Your best is yet to be! Everything you have done and experienced is preparing you for your greatest contribution. No one has your unique place in history to do good.

“There is far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

—C. S. Lewis

What's your advice for dealing with adversity?

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4 comments on “Responding to Crisis and Adversity”

  1. Hi, just a quick note to say I was given the opportunity to lead devotions and I read your “Five Qualities of the Vitally Optimistic” article to a about 20 teachers at Northshore Christian Academy. The information was so good I just couldn't keep it to myself. 🙂 The reaction from the teachers was positive (of course) and very well received.
    I don't comment on all your articles but I read them and you do such a great job. Thanks for inspiring me and keeping me thinking.

    1. Pam, thanks for reading and sharing! I loved researching that post. It is amazing to think how many tools we have been blessed with to help us lead lives filled with joy and impact.

  2. Adversity is a given, so you better be ready for it. When it happens, you can handle it two ways. First, you can assume the classic "victim" mentality, which will get you nowhere. Second, you can just attack it head on and move forward, which will ultimately help you grow as a person. I strongly suggest optim 2.

    1. Eric, thanks for reading and your comments. As a former Olympic hopeful decathlete, you understand adversity and the essence of a fighting, optimistic attitude. When we take charge of our choices we begin to see opportunities and options "victims" can't see.

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