We can learn a lot from the heroes of old about meeting the challenges of today.
It’s so much easier in this fast paced and high content filled world to see the beast called “Adversity” and demonize it to place of utter fear and dominance in our lives. Having slain a number of these beasts, I’ve seen that just like any good knight, businessman, husband or father, I’ve had to make sure that I was always outfitted for battle and that I upgraded my equipment over time. The truth is that we can do amazing things living right here in the present that represent similar choices to those made by those heroic characters.
One of these monsters that took me for a ride came with Hurricane Irene, made my family homeless, and brought heavy material losses. It was a pretty adverse situation. As the husband and father, I was “lord and king” of this scenario, and I needed to take action. In order to be Sean, the Adversity Conqueror, (by the way I envision myself as a Conan the Barbarian type with a sweeping musical score that invigorates the soul!) I needed to get three tools ready; armor, shield, and sword, which allowed me to be protected, as well as offer a solid offense and defense.
Armor for Protection
Envision a knight in King Arthur’s time, or more recently a character for one of JRR Tolkien’s films; a warrior prepared for battle with a solid coat of armor. Your Perspective on the difference between Perception and Reality is your protection. Dealing with adverse situations it is key to know where you are in the circumstances and not to proliferate it with exaggerated hype or drama. Protection comes from knowing where you stand at that time. That the situation is contained to what is known, and that you are aware of its damage or potential for damage.
For me, our family knew that the house was gone, our stuff was gone. We were safe though, my wife, daughters and I, protected by the strength of knowing that together we could face the sun rising on a new day.
Shield for Defense
Your Why is your defense, it is what fills your mindset for drive and motivation. Get slammed by the enemy throwing a hard attack, your shield will take the brunt of that hit, and bounce you back. Your drive to overcome the situation is supported by your Why, your passion for why you are there in the first place. Have a true passion for a better life, and fix a negative situation. It is true that where there is a will there is a way.
For me, the look on my family’s face was all that inspired me to repair Mother Nature’s damage. I kept the focus on getting my family into a home again, to give my daughters a room with their own belongings again.
Sword for Offense
Action is your sword, it creates momentum. Whatever tasks or steps you decide are needed based on the situation, those are the jabs at the leviathan that has raised its ugly head at you. Once you know where you really stand, and why you are moving forward, it’s time to DO what needs to be done to get you there. Action of any kind is beating the inertia of the current event that is playing in your life.
In my case it was a matter of cleaning up many dumpsters of belongings, finding temporary housing, dealing with insurance, finding a permanent new home, keeping things normal for the kids. In each of those I could and did choose to create actionable steps to moving it forward.
So I brought in people to help throw away my stuff, stayed with in-laws and in hotels for a couple of months, finished the insurance process, found a permanent home and kept life like one big vacation for a little while.
The way that we can set ourselves up for battle with the ugly monster, Adversity, is by remembering the classic battle stories of old. Wearing your armor (keeping your Perspective), pushing hard with your shield (your driving Why) and attacking with your sword (deliberate Action steps) will bring you to the end of the skirmish, and ahead of the problem.
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