I spent most of my life thinking of adversity as the obstacle between me and success.
Over the last three years, I've changed my perspective on adversity.
The value of pursuing success isn't the success itself.
The value comes from the adversity that you must overcome in the process AND who that forces you to become in the process.
THAT is what is valuable.
Let me give a concrete example.
The value of striving to be a millionaire isn't the money itself. The value is in who you become in the process -- a person who has:
- overcome societal assumptions about what is and isn't possible;
- confronted and overcome self-limiting beliefs;
- discovered how to notice opportunities overlooked by others;
- learned to be of service to others;
- grasped the nuances of creating value for others.
Most of my clients tend to be in high-income brackets. Some I've worked with over many years.
What I've found most remarkable isn't their financial success. It's who they've become through the journey.
I've seen character shaped and honed.
I've seen insecurities replaced with well-earned confidence.
I've seen values shift to encompass a more holistic definition of success.
In hindsight, the value of the journey almost always came from the adversity.
You learn very little about yourself when things are easy and you're successful.
Most of the growth and learning comes from when things are absurdly hard.
It is in those moments when you doubt yourself; when you struggle; when you face every fear you've ever had in your life all at the same time, that you grow the most.
It is in those moments when you persist through anyway and discover parts of yourself you never knew existed.
The tangible trappings of success come and go. Fortunes will be made and lost.
What doesn't change is your character - who you are, shaped by the adversities you've faced and overcome.
As painful as it is, adversity is where you grow and discover who you are... and that is priceless.
Never let a good crisis go to waste.
Learn, persevere, and grow. If you do, it's not called suffering; it's called growing pains.