Hardships and Challenges are Your Assets

I have recently started following an up and coming motivational speaker based out of the US named Eric Thomas. Eric has a very inspirational story and is doing some incredible work to help the inner city youth throughout the country.

In one of his talks to a group of students, he describes dropping out of high school and spending over 2 years of his life homeless and living in fear on a daily basis. This was a very common theme in the area he grew up in. He then states that that period of his life is actually his greatest gift! After feeling the pain of living on the streets, he overcame the odds, completed high school and college and is now an international speaker working on his PhD.

From the moment I heard his story and the way he described his hardships as a gift, my perspective was forever changed. I started thinking about all of the times in my life where I felt overwhelmed or frustrated by my circumstances. Luckily for me, my situation was never as dire as being homeless or living in fear for my safety. My problems were very minor in comparison. Why then, was I reacting with the same amount of stress and overwhelm as someone in a much worse position?

I realized that I was basically spoiled. I think many of us in this part of the world are. We have been sheltered from so many hardships that it has actually made us soft and in some cases very weak.

We should embrace our challenges and move towards those things that we are afraid of. Instead of talking ourselves out of a risky idea, we should focus on the potential benefits of our ideas and lean into them.

As a former corporate employee turned business owner, I think about all of the problems I inherited by giving up my salary to go out on my own. I have had times where I didn’t know if my business would survive another month, times where I had to confront a client that was becoming increasingly difficult to work with, times where I did not get paid thousands of dollars owed to me for work completed (not to mention many other issues). These are among many of the reasons why people talk themselves out of ever trying to start a business for themselves.

The truth is that each one of those hardships has strengthened me. They are assets that I use in my own personal arsenal to keep me motivated and driving forward toward my goals. Every time I conquer a new challenge, I see myself as a bigger person who is now capable of achieving more than ever before.

Hardships in life are an asset. Instead of avoiding them, seek them out and face them head on.

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One Response to Hardships and Challenges are Your Assets

  1. Frank W December 18, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Eric sounds a lot like me. I dropped out of high school when i was 16 to help out with my siblings. Then my mother who was a single parent got ill. She ended up passing away when I was 17 and the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I had 2 younger brothers that I needed to take care of and no family to lean on. We ended up staying at various people’s houses until I was able to score us a roomshare for 120 bucks a week. At the time I was only making around 200.00/week and the remainder of the money went on food. We lived on cereal and ramen noodles for about 3 years. When I was 21 we ended up moving down to Georgia with my aunt. She let me stay there for free but I had to help with food. Which is understandable. I ended up landing a new job that paid me around 300/week and started to put myself back through school. I got my GED and started working on going to college. Ended up having to drop out because we needed to find another place to live. My 2 brothers were going through their rebellious teenage years and still using our mother’s death as a crutch for their wrong doing. Moved out to another place, I went to a local tech school and became a certified welder. Next was gaining a Union job in New Jersey where it sempt all my dreams CAME TRUE. For about 2 years and then the series of lay offs. We were all living high on the horse for those 2 years. I was working 12/7’s making about 1500 a week which was really nice. Was able to buy my brothers new clothes, better food and afford a nicer place for them to stay. Now, with all the refineries shutting down because the US is starting to buy oil from over sea’s. The work load has shut down tremendously. I’m now living off unemployment and working hard everyday on building up my web designing skills in hope of achieving a new dream that I have set for myself. I’ll be honest with you. I do appreciate all the hard times in my life. It really showed me what kind of a person I was. It showed me what I was capable of when put under pressure. Now, I’m stronger than ever. I continue to get stronger everyday. I live by the positive standard in life and read articles by guys named Justin Popovic because I believe in what he says. So I want to take this time to say thank you Justin. You coached me through my word press setup. I’m always re watching Brad and your video’s here on IgniteyourEssence. You guys inspire me. You keep me hungry and focused on what I want. So again, thank you

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