by Biodun Da-Silva
Resiliency is one of my many gifts and it has been tested time and time again. What it has taught me is to envisage and prepare for setbacks whenever I set a goal – whether it happens or not. If, peradventure, it happens, I already know what to expect and I’d have armed myself with the right tool to handle the situation.
Setbacks are not the end of life, they are the beginning of a new one.
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Life is beautiful’?
Life is indeed beautiful – but meaningless. We give life meaning by living meaningfully through our thoughts, the decisions we make and our actions. Our thoughts and actions shape the kind of life we lead. The life we lead today is the culmination of all the decisions we made yesterday.
Life is full of privileges and natural resources, as well as ups and downs. Life is not a straight shot. To every living being, there’s a life cycle. A time to live and a time to die. A time of plenty and a time of lack. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time when all stars will align in your favor and a time when the stars will miss-align.
As sweet and enjoyable as life is, challenges are embedded in it. A lot of people give up during the trying times, probably because they forget that trying times are just a phase that will pass at some point.
Life’s challenges and setbacks come in different forms. You may be jobless or may have recently lost your job or your ability to earn a living. You may be going through terrible divorce proceedings. Banks may have foreclosed on your home, thereby rendering you homeless. Your business may be on the verge of liquidation or bankruptcy. Your job may be threatened or eliminated due to payroll deductions or advancement in technology, etc. In life, there are different strokes for different folks and all these setbacks are enough to break even the strongest of men.
I have been through so many ups and downs in life enough to know and tell you that life is simple but complex. Sweet, yet sour with so many challenges. Resiliency is one of my many gifts and it has been tested time and time again. What it has taught me is to envisage and prepare for setbacks whenever I set a goal – whether it happens or not. If, peradventure, it happens, I already know what to expect and I’d have armed myself with the right tool to handle the situation.
I believe when we all look at life as a combination of the good, the bad, the ugly and embrace it for what it is, life will be a better place to live in for us all. We are not blessed with the power to take the good and leave the bad, neither can we take the bad and jettison the ugly. Life is a pandora box where expectations are unknown. To live meaningfully and prepare for setbacks, we must be willing to adapt to all situations of life.
When we view setbacks as an opportunity to look back and re-prioritize, we start seeing it as a blessing and a tool for growth and success. We must be flexible and resilient in order to live successfully in today’s world. No impact can be made from a place of weakness and nothing of value can be accomplished when you stay or walk the path that leads to nowhere. When life throws you in the back, crawl, run, fly or jump your way back to the forefront to make a positive impact. No matter what happens, never stay down when you fall, that’s the only way to face life head-on.
Want to bounce back from setbacks? Here are some points that could help you:
Identify the Downturn
No good doctor will prescribe or recommend a medication without proper diagnosis. The same is true for overcoming all kinds of life challenges. When you acknowledge that you’ve been set back, reflect on the decisions you’ve made that led up to the point where you are. The next course of action should be to re-strategize. By doing this, you start expanding your horizon to source for solutions that’ll put you back on track.
Give It Your All
I’ll be doing you a disservice if I tell you that bouncing back after experiencing a setback is easy. No great feat or accomplishment comes easy. The road to bouncing back is paved with more disappointments, failures, betrayals and more setbacks. But once you recognize this and mentally prepare for it, it will become so much easier to overcome whatever is impeding your ability to bounce back.
Silence is truly golden. What people do not know, they cannot attack. If you let people in on everything happening in your life, you have given them power, control over you and ultimately, a tool to work with. You become vulnerable to attacks and emerging failure. It is vital to let your strategies, sources, and moves be planned and accomplished in complete stealth. It is part of human nature to want to brag about our progress and accomplishment in order to be taken seriously among our peers or in the society. Unfortunately, we all do not possess the same good intent within the context of how to handle or manage the progress of others. Learn to control the propensity to talk about your ideas and progress recklessly.
Communicate your intent or plans only to those who are in or heading the same direction as you. They possess relevant information that’ll aid the process and drive advancement. The result of your efforts will speak for you at some point. When that happens, you will be held in high esteem and standard. Remember, if you can guard your mouth successfully, you will go through life with little or no hitch.
Don’t Trust Blindly
Unfortunately, the world has come to a place where it has become naive to believe we can take people at face value. You’d do well to know that everybody has an agenda. Take people at their face value at your peril. You can give people the benefit of the doubt by trusting them, but when they show you their true color, please believe them.
Sometimes, when you start making certain progress, some people become your antagonist. Antagonists may be within your family, friends or associates. Unfortunately, there’s no way to differentiate who has your back from who’s out to get you. It’s good to trust, but it’s also good to be sensitive.
If you are lucky enough to overcome life’s setbacks, you must keep moving. Look back only to the lessons you1’ve been taught and apply it when appropriate. We are a product of our experiences. A Yoruba proverb says: Iriri lagba – we are as old as our life’s experiences. You could be 60 years of age but have the experiences of a 30-year-old and vice versa. Essentially, the more you explore life, the more informed and experienced you will be and the more you accumulate wisdom.