As we start 2022 I want to wish you a Happy New Year and to also share something which I have used throughout 2021 to help me tremendously. It’s a belief I have about adversity and struggle, and it has helped me come through the challenges and difficulties I faced throughout last year.
We have all faced exceptional difficulties during 2021 with the continuous problems resulting from Covid 19 and the variants, plus other major issues which have caused incredible stress and mental health challenges.
Because of the belief I have about adversity I have come through 2021 with one of the best years I have ever had. I have maintained energy and a positive attitude throughout the year, and I believe that this has led to some of the outstanding bookings I received during last year.
The following sad story beautifully describes my feelings about adversity and how we should view negative situations.
The Butterfly and the Cocoon
A young boy came across a butterfly cocoon and brought it into his house. He watched, over the course of hours, as the butterfly struggled to break free from its confinement. It managed to create a small hole in the cocoon, but its body was too large to emerge. It tired and became still.
Wanting to help the butterfly, the boy snipped a slit in the cocoon with a pair of scissors. But the butterfly was small, weak, and its wings crumpled. The boy expected the insect to take flight, but instead it could only drag its undeveloped body along the ground. It was incapable of flying.
He wanted to help
The boy, in his eagerness to help the butterfly, stunted its development. What he did not know was that the butterfly needed to go through the process of struggling against the cocoon to gain strength and fill its wings with blood. It was the struggle that made it stronger.
You may have heard a variation of this story before. I came across it in Frank Dupree’s book Metamorphosis. It’s a reminder of the fact that while it’s hard to watch those who we are close to struggle, often the best help we can provide is to do nothing. By intervening, and shouldering the burden ourselves, we rob those we care about of the opportunity to grow and get stronger.
We want to help
As a parent, as a friend, or as a spouse, the instinct to help is hard to resist. We see our kids struggling at school, interacting with other children, or falling behind on the playing field, and we want to step in and save them from hardship. We want to offload their pain onto ourselves.
By doing so, however, we’re eliminating the circumstances that the people we love need for their own personal development. It’s instinctive, and understandable, to want to help. But often the best course of action is to wait and, like the butterfly, let the process unfold on its own terms and timeline.
As Robert Tew once wrote, “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up.”
Sometimes the best gift we can give is to stand on the side-line, shouting encouragement, but allowing the process of growth to run its course.
Moral of the story:
Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger, so it’s important for us to tackle challenges on our own, and not be relying on help from others.
What do you think about all the tough times you go through?
Can you think of anything from last year where something good came out of a negative situation? While we are going through difficult times it is almost impossible to see what good is coming out of that situation but once we come through that period it is easier to look back and find that positive.
Personally, I just stay in faith and believe that when I come through a tough challenge I will have grown stronger in some area and that this will benefit me greatly in the future. I have lost count of the positives which have come out of the negative situations I have faced.
Thoughts for the week
- How do you view adversity?
- Do you see it as a positive opportunity to help you in the future?
- This year see if you can view every challenge you face as an opportunity to grow in some way like character or comfort zone.
- See if you can create a new belief in 2022 where adversity is good for you, and you will personally grow through each one.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and stay positive.