Gives You Strength
How can you stay self-motivated and productive
in the midst of turbulent times and a sluggish economy? How do you
persevere as a salesperson when times are tough and customers seem to
be holding on to every penny in fear of economic uncertainty?
Every challenge, setback and personal
difficulty you encounter in life also brings with it the seed of
equivalent or greater benefit! The key to overcoming adversity is to
avoid the temptation of panic and instead, focus on finding the
greater benefit. Adversity will never leave you where it found you; it
will either strengthen your character or weaken your resolve.
During the early years of WW II Nazi
submarines, operating in wolf packs, roamed the frigid waters of the North Atlantic
with impunity sinking an alarming number of British military and
merchant ships. Hitler was confident that his U-boats could blockade England
and eventually starve the British people into submission.
In the summer of 1940, while the Battle of
Britain was being played out over London, the Germans unmercifully sank over 300 British military and merchant
ships. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, fearing the negative impact
these devastating losses might have on the nation's morale, ordered the information withheld from the public. In an
effort to reduce the appalling number of casualties lost at sea,
Churchill instructed the British Royal Navy to begin a study to
determine what, if anything, could be done to save more lives during
While interviewing the survivors an
interesting discovery was made. To their complete astonishment, the
researchers noted that the survival rate for the younger, presumably
more physically fit sailors was remarkably lower when compared to
their older shipmates. The study concluded that the older sailors had
a significantly higher survival rate due to the fact that they had
overcome more adversity and therefore, had developed greater
confidence in being rescued than the younger, less experienced
The head of the research project, Kurt Hahn,
was so moved by this discovery that he created the Outward Bound
program. Hahn designed the Outward Bound program, utilizing a series
of progressively rugged challenges, to mentally and physically prepare
young British sailors to cope with the adversity of naval combat.
Today, the Outward Bound program works with troubled youth to help
them develop greater confidence and self-image.
I find it interesting that people faced with
similar adversity often experience remarkably different outcomes. Some
people become weakened, some become hardened and some become stronger.
If you place a carrot, an egg and a coffee bean into a pot of boiling
water, each reacts in a completely different manner to their
conditions. The carrot goes into the boiling water firm and comes out
soft; the egg goes in fragile and comes out hardened; while the coffee
bean turns the hot water into coffee by releasing its flavor and
Selling in these challenging times demands
determination and personal fortitude. Having the will to persevere
when times are tough is a characteristic commonly found among
self-made millionaires. Are you a quitter? The last time you failed,
did you stop trying because you failed or did you fail because you
Thomas Edison documented 10,000 failed
attempts to develop the electric light bulb. A reporter asked the
great inventor how it felt to have failed 10,000 times trying to
invent the light bulb. Edison
responded, "Young man, I didn't fail 10,000 times trying to invent the light bulb, I simply
documented 10,000 ways that it wouldn't work." Imagine how different our world would be today if
had been a quitter.
You must expect to encounter detours,
roadblocks and potholes of adversity along the road of life. The next
time you are faced with adversity, learn from it and know that you are
becoming a much stronger person because of it!
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about John Boe.
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