Embrace adversity and you will become a success

Achieving goals may take patience, persistence, and stamina to overcover adversities in your life. According to Merriam-Webster online, adversity means, and I quote: “a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune” Adversities are things in our life that may feel uncomfortable initially but will help us learn to be victorious. How about a thirteen-year-old boy with no legs who has weathered the storms to play basketball? Throughout this article, I will share how we can overcome our adversities and how this boy did what everyone else said was impossible.

A Boy named Josiah Johnson, 13 years old, has a disability, but almost no one sees it because he doesn’t. Many in life experience adversities in finances, relationships, maintaining health, learning new skills, and blame it as these are the cards I was dealt, and there is nothing I can do about it. Josiah was born with no legs, and unlike Superman, he has yet to find his kryptonite but always does things that everyone else does. When you don’t want to do something, is it because of something someone told you or a belief you already have inside you? Henry Ford, a wise inventor and man of our world, said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Thus, this translates into two simple concepts: if you believe you can’t, you are right, but if you think you can, you are also right. Too often, people give up before they even try because it feels uncomfortable.

He is a strong-willed and motivated individual who decided to make a bold move and try out for his school’s basketball team, the Moore Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky, last fall. Perhaps you are saying in the back of your mind, why would he ever do that when there are wheelchair basketball leagues he could have joined? Josiah said, and I quote, “It was easy," "It was too easy." He had a trait that pushed him, and his mother said, and I mention” It’s not just confidence, but also stubbornness. Josiah is very competitive, and if he feels like something is too easy, he's not going to do it,"

How often do you take the easy way out because everyone else is doing it or isn’t interested in pursuing and learning a new way? Two great authors quote one being Robert Frost, who said, and I mention, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” The other I have chosen to share is Jerry Seinfeld, who said, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” We can learn that creating a new path will install wisdom, confidence, and character after the experience. Another thing is that difference is never really celebrated by you or others until the results are visible. 

Johnson was determined, as I said, even though he knew making the team would have to be a miracle; fortunately, he was stellar at creating miracles. Based on his skills and abilities that season, he made the team and has become an immense helper. He made rebounds, assists, and several turnovers because of the location he could occupy on the floor. He recently completed the best miracle when he stole the ball from outside the court’s 3-point line.  Yes, he created another miracle as his disability vanished, and he could score the basket; what a victory for him and the team.

I wanted to share his story today because we shut down our engines before they ever get entirely running. You may be asking what Josiah wants you to take away from this act of bravery and courage he demonstrates daily. He said, and I quote, “to do something that they thought they couldn't do,"

How often have you had a situation you thought you couldn’t do and didn’t even try? This brings to mind the famous story about the elephant, a big rope, and circus trainers. When elephants are small, they are tied to a rope and kept in place with a large steak to prevent them from acting out. As a baby elephants, they try to get out many times but don’t possess enough strength. After a year, the elephant grows bigger; however, the animal can’t break free since it doesn’t have enough power. Now the elephant has become programmed and develops the belief that it will never be able to break free and never tries again. Thus, no matter how much older and more robust the elephant gets, they recall the futile waste of energy put forth and being unable to escape and never trying again. 

Adversities may pop up at any corner of your life, but it is essential to recognize them and make some subtle shifts. For example, when you say words like, “You may find yourself I can’t, It’s not possible, I won’t do it, shift your language to I can, I am I will, I’m getting better each day, or I’m learning each day. The best thing to do is to replace these words with positive skills and traits you can do.

Understand that adversity happens when one has self-doubt, physical injuries, rejection, poverty, loss of a loved one, relationship challenges, or even while struggling to achieve goals. Just because you may have appeared to fail doesn’t mean you have unless you have quit. By failing, we learn that we will be the most outstanding teacher to build self-confidence and allow us to exceed even loftier goals.

It will be uncomfortable when you first attempt to do something, and you must keep trying and never give up. The critical thing to remember is that your belief creates your reality; thus, believe, and you will achieve. Remember that, like Josiah, if we don’t choose to see or think we’ve adversities, nor will others see them.


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