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Adversity

Adversity, according to dictionary.com, is defined as a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress. I was reading Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success on adversity, which Mike Krzyzewski mentioned that, "what separates good teams and individuals from great ones is the manner in which they handle adversity."

I could not have agree more on that. Adversity can certainly be an opportunity for you to grow, to discover about yourself and to breakthrough your limit. In his book, Beyond Basketball, he mentioned that, "whenever I face adversity, I look at the problem and then beyond the problem. I look for the positive impact it will have on me, my team, or my family."

I would never have truly understood that, not until two years back when I was in Philippines and going through it myself.

I was then in Davao City. The Philippines is divided into three geographical areas: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Davao City is the main city in Mindanao and I heard that it is the largest City in the world by land area. I stayed in Davao City for about 8 months and I loved the city. It has the best of both world. Being a city, it has many facilities that comes with a city and at the same time, you can enjoy peaceful moment at night like in the countryside. Basically it is also a safe place to live in; I remember I was walking alone in the street 2, 3 a.m. in the morning and I did not fear being rob or anything.

And what about this city that taught me to handle adversity? There was once I have to make a trip to a college which is about an hour away by car. I was pretty excited to be given an opportunity to present to a group of students and all the while in the car, I was going through the presentation in my mind and at the same time enjoying the scenic view on the way to the college.

When I reached the college, the students were already in the lecture hall waiting for me to start my presentation. Without any further delay, I set up my projector, the laptop and within minutes, I was good to go. There was only one challenge; the laptop refused to power up. Basically, the laptop had chosen the 'most appropriate time' to break down and had it not broken down, I would not have the opportunity to grow.

My presentation slide was in the laptop and even if I had a soft copy of the presentation slide, there was no other computers or laptops which I could use. And so I stood there for a moment facing the group of about 20-30 students and their eyes were all looking at me and waiting for me to start. I had no choice, or rather I was already given a choice; the show must go on.

I saw a whiteboard just besides me, I asked for a few whiteboard markers and so the show began. At first I was worried as I do not know how should I go about the presentation or what should I say. But within five minutes into the presentation, I found that everything just comes to my mind naturally. In fact it was much better I would say, as I was able to make it a more interactive session by engaging the students at some parts of the presentation. Do you think the students enjoyed the session? I certainly believe they did enjoy it.

What occurred that day was not only a learning experience for the students, but also a good learning experience for myself. I remember a quotation that states, "Remember that challenges are not there to stop you. The challenges are there to help you grow." Similarly, adversity provides us an opportunity not only to grow but also to breakthrough the limits that we set for ourselves.

Submitted by:

Boon Kiat Chua

Boon Kiat Chua has a keen interest in inspiring people to take charge and to make positive changes to their life through his own life experience and through other inspiring articles and stories at: http://inspirationalnetwork.blogspot.com and http://www.symphonyoflove.net/blog




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