Be at your best when life is at its worst
I recently read an article of Mike Maddock’s on Forbes.com in which he tells the story of Professor Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and decided to make his final lecture about the most important lessons he had learned in life.
Pausch said that we cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. He also said that the most resilient, impressive leaders he knew have found ways to be courageous in the face of great adversity – life’s challenges lift them up instead of knocking them down.
He shared his advice on how to deal with the ‘bad hands’ life deals you.
- Look at challenges as an opportunity to learn. How do you convert adversity into value? By knowing that it’s temporary and by choosing to see what can be learned instead of being angered by it. Then share the learning experience with others and commit to making the most of the opportunity for yourself and others.
- Constantly reinvent your future. Everyone has choices, but the most resilient leaders remind themselves that choice is the enemy of fear. And the moment you realise that you have choices, you will no longer feel trapped by circumstances. Ask yourself what the outcome is you are looking for and what is standing in your way of making these happen.
- Don’t get furious, get humorously curious. He says he has a friend who loves to say ‘fascinating’ whenever something troubling happens. And he does it with a laugh. In doing so, he chooses to look at challenges to see what he can learn from it and stay positive. Humour helps you to open your mind and be creative and sometimes when you try to solve a problem, you should not take yourself too seriously. This way you might find answers you never considered.
And lastly, he said that you should ask yourself if what you worry about today will make a difference to you when you are old and grey.
Gerinda Engelbrecht, Editor