Thought of the Day
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
We all face adversity, but whether we learn from that adversity or whether we let it break us is a choice. Growth and despair are choices, and we have the ability to elect which one to embrace.
I had a fantastic weekend, made rich by time spent with dear friends and a couple of soul searching conversations. I was reminded not only of the importance of friendship and the exchange of ideas, but also the importance of our decisions in the face of adversity. As we traded stories of triumph and failure, one theme seemed to resonant with me throughout each conversation: growth is a choice. As Stephen Covey states, we are response-able:
“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”
The circumstances that lead to growth can be as exhilarating as they can be humbling. Adversity is frustrating, and while I don’t seek it out I’d be foolish to despise it in my life – even the adversity that I have created through my own actions. Growth comes from embracing that adversity and using it as a launching pad to make better decisions moving forward.
Wishing you all a great week filled with decisions to, like Dickens, be made into a “better shape.”