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Embracing the Unexpected: Finding Opportunity in Adversity

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

As humans, we are wired to seek out "good" in our lives. We strive for success, happiness, and fulfillment. However, life has a way of throwing us curveballs that can quickly change our perspective on what is good.


When things go wrong, it's easy to get caught up in a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions. We may feel defeated, frustrated, or even hopeless. But what if we shift our perspective and see these challenges as opportunities for growth?


Just Say "Good"

Retired Navy SEAL, entrepreneur, and author Jocko Willink is known for his no-nonsense approach to leadership and life. In a number of his interviews, Jocko has been quoted for saying “good” as he describes his philosophy for when things go bad. He states that “Good” is his response when employees bring difficult issues to him if hurt when training, if denied supplies, in hardships, and so forth.


Willink explains that instead of viewing setbacks as purely negative experiences, we should look for the good within them. This could mean a chance to learn and improve, an opportunity to try something new, or a moment to reflect on our current path. However, this does not invalidate your feelings or hardships; rather, it offers you a new perspective to perceive them.

Finding Opportunity in Adversity

When we shift our perspective and look for the good in challenging situations, we open ourselves up to opportunities that we may not have considered before. Failure can lead to growth, mistakes can pave the way for improvement, and setbacks can create new paths. In fact, this is the way we grow.


Losing a job may initially be perceived as a negative experience. However, if we reframe it as an opportunity to discover a more fulfilling career, it could lead us to a job that brings greater joy and satisfaction. When I decided to make the courageous leap from California to Colorado without employment, I encountered numerous rejections and missed opportunities. Nevertheless, these setbacks propelled me to take control of my own destiny. It was during this transformative period that I joined forces with Matt Johnson, and together we embarked on a life-altering journey, founding Voyages Counseling.


Remembering the Power of Perspective

When things go wrong, it's natural to get caught up in negative thoughts. However, it's crucial to remember that our perspective plays a significant role in how we experience and respond to challenges. By staying open-minded and seeking the silver lining in difficult situations, we can maintain a positive attitude even in the most trying times.


In his book "Man's Search for Meaning," Viktor Frankl beautifully expresses the idea that everything can be taken from a person except one thing: the last of human freedoms - the freedom to choose our attitude in any given circumstances. This profound quote serves as a powerful reminder that we possess the power to shape our perspective, even when faced with adversity. It serves as a testament to our ability to navigate through challenging times and find meaning in every situation.


Embracing Growth and Resilience

When we face adversity with an open mind and positive outlook, it allows us to embrace growth and build resilience. By viewing challenges as opportunities for personal development, we can learn valuable lessons and become stronger individuals. In his book Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink emphasizes the importance of taking ownership of our mistakes and failures, using them as opportunities for improvement rather than excuses for defeat. Besides excuses provide little strategy for moving forward.


Perspective Has Power

Amidst adversity, let us remember the transformative power of perspective. Drawing inspiration from Jocko Willink's notion of "good," we can uncover growth and change within challenging circumstances. By shifting our outlook, embracing opportunities, and summoning the courage to forge a brighter path, we can cultivate a mindset of resilience and purpose. May we approach life with an open mind, embracing change and growth, and unearthing the silver linings in difficult situations. Let us strive to be better, stronger, and unwavering in our pursuit of a meaningful existence.


"Embrace adversity as it's a chance for growth.
Find the 'good' in every challenge faced."


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