Thomas Edison had to try thousands of prototypes before achieving a successful light bulb. His response to people telling him to give up on the idea was “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.“
The most rewarding things in life are not usually the easiest, and I’d like to recall to us some of the greatest minds in remembrance that at the end of the day, if we truly want something, we just need to keep working toward it in order to achieve it.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford
Ford and Edison make us realize that success or failure is how we look at the current status of our goals and whether we’ve decided to give up or not.
Have you reworked and relooked at the current problem you’re facing, possibly from a new focus or new tactic 10,000 times like Edison? If not, then if this goal is something you really want, tell yourself you can accomplish it and decide to come at it with a new approach. That new approach or new way of looking at things can make all the difference.
As our favorite professor reminds us:
“We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” –Albert Einstein
Ralph and Alice call to attention to the fact that we always have a choice:
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” –Alice Walker
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
We can decide to give up when things get difficult, or we can remind ourselves that we alone are responsible for our destiny and take action on where we want to lead it. We don’t have to surrender to others or the obstacles they put in front of us.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” –Charles Swindoll
Swindoll frames for us, much like Shakespeare does in Hamlet, that “nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
When something happens, such as when we are laid off from a job, we are the ones who decide whether this is a good or a bad thing. We decide whether to look at this life change as an obstacle or an opportunity.
Next time you are faced with what might appear as an obstacle at first glance, reframe your view of it and instead look for all the possible opportunities it could bring you. Could this offer you time to finally take that big trip you’ve been meaning to plan? Could this allow you to spend more time with your family like you keep promising you will but didn’t have time for before? Will this afford you a chance to pursue the career change you really wanted?
Remember, this life event is neither good or bad, it’s just how you decide to look at it which will make it either a setback or a step forward in your life.
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” –Dalai Lama
Our building blocks to overcoming adversity are:
– Control how you respond to adversity
– Put yourself in the mindset that you can overcome this adversity
– Look for opportunities in changes and challenges rather than obstacles
– Try again with a new approach