Convert the misfortunes of your life into great opportunities
I always thought till sometime back - mishaps and really bad things would happen around me and NEVER to me. You also would have thought so. Till the first misfortune struck. And then other misfortunes followed. You feel cornered and deeply depressed.
Know for sure that you are not alone here. All before you have faced misfortunes, and suffered. But suffering is never endless. Just like bright sunny days come after the rains, dark days also end. And strangely, if you are aware and strive on, you would one day find surprisingly new unexpected opportunities spring up out of the misfortune that caused you so much trouble in the past.
Mishaps in life are inevitable, because...
- Your life system has Financial, Relational, Health and Want components. All your near and dear ones have their own life system components. Failure in any component of any of these life systems might be a mishap to you. A fridge, a computer, an organization or relation - anything in nature or built by humans has its own life cycle. Your life span being usually much longer than its components, failures in any one of the components is a near certainty.
- Chaos or disorder in the universe including man-made world always increase. Failures also increase making individual mishaps of any kind more and more probable with passing time. As you live longer, chances of major failures increase to a near certainty. Your life is not beyond larger laws.
- Human society becoming ultra competitive with reducing resources per person, system stress and failures increase continually. It is no surprise that a mishap will happen to me or to you. We are no special persons protected from all evils (if we look at a mishap as an evil).
I may fall - it is natural, but it is important that I stand up after a fall.
How to come out of a mishap
- Take account - When you get your breath back, do a clear accounting of assets you still have: are you still breathing? Can you think reasonably even if you may feel numb in mind now? Then you are fortunate. Know now that it is a miracle for a human to be alive with innumerable unseen unknown forces constantly working against it.
- Do not rue the loss - Count and value what are left. Just as no loss can be replaced, all losses (except loss of mind and life) can be recovered from, as Nature abhors vacuum. It is a larger law. It will fill up IN TIME the vacuum left in you because of your loss.
- Trust nature - Learn to trust. Maybe for the first time in your life. Scars will remain, they will never go. But have you ever closely seen the scars on a deeply lined face of a very old man? Those scars make his smile the more beautiful and rich. Without scars you have not lived.
- Review - Then you stand up, shake your mental limbs and re-evaluate the new world you are left with. What will be the goal of your life in this new world? How can you best utilize the assets you are left with? Perforce you may be doing this for the first time in your life. Human life potentially is incredibly rich. Most of the time we never appreciate it. This is the opportunity to appreciate.
- Choose your path - Now you are more experienced. Immerse yourself into creative activities with focused energy. Now you know failures may come anytime. Life does not move on a level straight path always. Be glad that you have been given a second chance.
- Look around and look beyond - You will now be able to see the plight of other living humans. You will be able to feel the pains. Know for sure this is a great gift. Probably now you will be able to work for others. In time, even if it is not now, you will know the true joy of living - loving and living for others - not for yourself alone.
Be sure of one thing,
Every mishap comes with a great opportunity hidden in it.
Steps to turn a mishap into a great opportunity
Analyze the reasons for the failure:
- Identify the causes internal and external.
- Strengthen the weaknesses. Be sure that if you accept your weakness it can always be strengthened.
- If the reasons are external, take preventive measures. You will come out to be a much stronger person. Unless a child falls it never learns to walk. Unless you fail you can never learn what success really is. All learning comes through mistakes. Unless you make mistakes how could you have learned?
Have an unshakable belief that you will come out of the adverse situation:
- This belief is absolutely necessary for your physical and mental machinery to recover and function normally, no matter what happens.
- You have nothing to lose but the world to gain to have this belief.
Continue to make decisions and take actions steadfastly with added intelligence and confidence:
- None but yourself can judge whether you are doing justice to your abilities.
- Continuity in thinking and action automatically stabilizes an unstable system.
Focus your attention on the adverse elements in this new situation:
- This is the most surprising step and holds promise of brighter days.
- The adverse elements are highly valuable. Explore and analyze these elements with new thinking, how you can utilize these apparently adverse elements for creating new positive pathways.
- With time, you would suddenly discover that the apparently adverse elements can actually be used for creating a totally new opportunity - an opportunity that you won't have been able to reach without your past misfortune.
- Usually there is a time lag between the mishap and the discovery of new opportunity.
- You should be ready to recognize and grab the opportunity when it comes.
- If one does not strive hard under adverse situation, usually the opportunity stays hidden.
It has never failed to surprise me that in every adverse situation, the adverse elements could be used for creating a new and highly positive path. Believe that
Every mishap can be turned into a great opportunity.
Case example One
A 22 year old stripling of a girl went through a deep tragedy losing two and half months of study time just before her final exams. When she could start her preparation she thought she would just be able to give a tolerably good show as the exam was rumored to be postponed by two weeks. She considered those two extra weeks as invaluable for her last minute desperate preparation. Three days later she called me, totally distraught, "Exam dates are final - not postponed." She nearly broke down.
It was a hard struggle alright - only one month was left. Nevertheless, she didn't fall down - kept on standing her feet. That was front-line fight, full of innovations - we all go through such travails in life. No option there - we need to
Muster all our resources and battle on.
As the exams ended, she visibly came out of a long tunnel, and basked in sunlight again. Being experienced, I warned her, not once,"You can't take a break more than a week. Next stage post-graduate admission tests are only one and half month away. Remember, that is your target now. You have crossed only one hurdle."
She went on enjoying her days. No effect. Then the law of hidden opportunities popped up in my mind, just by chance. I approached her now with more confidence, "Look at the two weeks pre-exam loss as a gift to be used now for admission tests. Your peers may not think that way and waste this valuable time." Her eyes opened wide with comprehension.
Convinced, she went full-steam ahead.
Case example Two
The whole family was shocked when news came that the head of the family has been transferred to Andaman & Nicobar. He was a middle aged responsible level-headed man. In a few days of grief the family accepted the situation - the man had to leave his family behind and go away to his far off exile. His job was too important to consider resignation and he couldn't take his family to the new place of work. His two children were studying in good schools. Family had to do without him for two years just as he would have to.
His wife was a capable lady - he didn't have any worries about leaving them behind. The main question that loomed large in his mind was - what would he do in that lonely place for two years! How could he pass the time? He felt it to be a great misfortune for him, though he kept his feeling to himself.
After three months in Andamans, his work-front and home front both stabilized. Looking around now he found the natural beauty quite compelling. A few days later he started writing about the abundant natural beauty around him. That was the start. He sent his first write-up to his wife who promptly sent it to a renowned magazine and in no time it was published, surprising them all.
After two years, he left Andamans with a heavy heart. And of course, by then he came to become a quite well-known travel author.
Case example Three
Many decades ago, there was a great war among the humans. Large part of the world suffered badly. Uncounted lives were lost as human assets destroyed. Nothing continues forever. That deadly war also ended.
That was the start of Accelerated Times and new world order. The world had to be rebuilt in quick time. Technology progressed swift to swifter with inventions and innovations popping up all around in every area of activity. Development and growth became the watchwords.
Modern world was born out of the ashes.
Mishaps will inevitably happen. It will depend on you whether you would be ready to grab the hidden opportunities that would come with the mishap.
Adversity analysis technique will help you to discover the hidden opportunity
Time lost: In the first story, the extremely valuable time of 2 weeks was cut short. It was lost apparently. Usually none looks at a loss and considers - can it be converted to a gain? By the basic nature of time, the girl gets the two weeks' of lost time as a gain for post-graduate admission preparation. But you must be clear that unless she recognized it as a gain, she won't have been able to use it fruitfully.
Extra time: In the second story, our man had enormous amount of time extra in his hands. Time was a liability for him. Consequently it had deep loneliness attached with it. We would ask - can this liability be transformed to a valuable asset?
A general principle says -
Time is inherently one of the most valuable assets in human life. In most cases extra time can be used fruitfully.
Believing in this principle, our man immersed himself in his present world. This is important. In an apparent adversity, the more you become involved in the present, the quicker the problem gets resolved. Avoiding the present crisis complicates the situation further.
In our case, this involvement opened a new world of possibility to our friend.