Life can seem — and even be — so unfair at times.
“But it wasn’t my fault” or “This or that happened, and I had no control” are words we often hear from others. Perhaps, from time-to-time, even from ourselves.
Sometimes, these “out of my control” incidents actually could have been avoided had we taken preventative actions. Yes, I got caught in traffic, but had I given myself extra time, I still would have made the appointment with room to spare.
Other times, it really was out of our control and we simply have to deal with the consequences … anyway.
How we deal with those consequences not only tells us about ourselves, it also tells others about us.
In a recent article by my friend, Michael A. Aun, an ultra-successful entrepreneur, long-time professional speaker and mentor to many, he tells the following story:
“I was fortunate enough to win the World Championship of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I also won the same contest in 1977 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but was disqualified because I went eight seconds over my allotted time limit. I was literally announced as the winner and then was disqualified for going eight seconds overtime. I got a standing ovation in the middle of the speech. It lasted eight seconds. That was a bitter pill to swallow, but I learned that you have to go through Toronto to get to Vancouver. You have to experience setbacks in your life before you’ll ever embrace victory.”
Powerful, indeed; having to swallow that bitter pill in order to embrace a sweet victory. However, it’s his summation of this experience in the following paragraph that was my huge take-away:
“I learned also that my audiences are far more interested in how I dealt with the defeat in Toronto than the fruits of the victory in Vancouver. That’s what audiences want to know – how you deal with adversity.”
The word “audience” doesn’t only refer literally to a group of people listening to a presentation from stage. It’s everyone who is in any way a part of our business and personal lives. They will judge your character and mine by how we handle our adversities and — dare I say — decide whether or not they trust us in practically any other area of life.
Thank you, Michael; one of many powerful lessons I’ve learned from you over the years.