Monday, June 04, 2007

Secrets of Dealing with Adversity

Adversity does not hits everyone from all walks of life, regardless of who they are. We've all had moments where nothing seems to be going the way we want, whether it's getting through a major crisis, dealing with an unexpected detour on the way to success or you've been told you only have 3 months to live. You name it, it's a universal common denominator among all of us.

Up to this point, this blog has chronicled my personal stories, observations and tips in how I dealt with adversity that came banging at my door. Now I want to turn the tables by borrowing the concept of Aaron Pott's highly successful "Simply Success Secret's" tagging project, and invite you (the readers/subscribers of Adversity University) and the vast world of bloggers, newsletter publishers and website owners to participate in a new interactive experiment. I wish to thank Aaron for his encouragement to begin this project. Thanks Aaron!

Here's what I am looking for in this tagging experiment:

1) List between 5 to 10 things you do when in the midst of adversity.


2) Write a short story of a time you experienced a major form of adversity and how you handled it. End the story with the lesson(s) you learned as a result. There's a saying that when you are ready, the teacher will appear. And that teacher is you!

Here's how you can participate:

Readers and Subscribers of Adversity University:
Read what I've outlined below. If you do not have a blogging platform, then click on the email link on the right side of this page and send me your story and/or the 5-10 things you do to overcome adversity. In your email, let me know whether you want to list your first or full name. At the very least, please indicate the town and state you're from. Thanks!

Bloggers, Website Owners and Newsletter Publishers:
1.) Create a new post on your blog, website or newsletter. In the first paragraph, tell your audience that you are participating in Stephen Hopson's Adversity University tagging experiment called "Secrets of Dealing with Adversity" with a link and/or trackback to this post since I will be compiling the results at the end.

2.) Tag as many bloggers, website owners and/or newsletter publishers you'd like and invite them to join us. Not only will you be helping them gain exposure but you will also be inspiring them to achieve their dreams because they will see firsthand how you personally faced and beat adversity.

3.) For a little link love, please make sure you put a link/trackback to the person who tagged you for "Secrets of Dealing with Adversity."

4.) Depending on which of above-mentioned formats you choose to use, post them on your blog, website or newsletter. By doing this, it is highly probable that it will also be seen by the audiences of those people who tagged you during the experiment because you gave back "link love." This gives rise to the notion that when you give first, you get back!

5.) When you are done, please shoot me a quick email with a link to your post on this experiment so that I can make sure you are included in the final tallying of the results. While I will be using various methods to determine which sites and blogs participated by checking Technorati, Google, Yahoo and MSN, if you send me an email informing me of your participation, not only will I be 100% sure that no one is left out, I would also be in a position to send you an email alert when the final results are in. Cool? Thanks!

This interactive experiment will be over when I feel it has run its course. At that point, I will categorize the results in four sections and create a new blog post here at Adversity University. One section will be labeled "Adversity Stories" with links to sites containing them. The other will be called "Things People Do to Overcome Adversity" and posted in order of popularity. And finally, a special acknowledgement section will list every single participant in alphabetical order at the bottom of the post.

By participating, you will have a sense of satisfaction knowing that you may have helped countless of fellow human beings get through the stumbling blocks that they may be facing right now. You never know the impact you may be making on their lives.

Consider how my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Jordan, unknowingly made a huge impact simply by uttering three words in response to a question I answered in her class over 30 years ago. Not only did it give me courage to stand up to the school bully on the playground but it also caused a huge ripple effect throughout the rest of my life. You can see the story here and here.

Won't you be like her and make a difference with your words of wisdom today? I ask that you help me "pay it forward" with your words of wisdom and make a difference to the lives of at least 500 people, collectively, with your experience in overcoming adversity.
I'll start first......

5 Ways I Overcome Adversity

1. Pray! - Just when the (deleted) hits the fan, I always go to the one invisible source and pray for soothing comfort and strength to get through it.

2. Take Responsibility - Rather than blaming anything or anyone, I force myself to take a hard look at the situation at hand and see how I might have attracted it to me (i.e. Was it my attitude? Was it my ego? Was I careless or impulsive? Was I too attached to the outcome?)

3. Surround Myself with Supportive Family and Friends - We cannot endure adversity on our own - I seek out the love and support of those who I know care about me. (Note: This is where you find out who your true friends are!).

4. Visualize my dreams - When my dreams are blocked for any reason, I go out to the front porch, light up a Montensino Toro cigar and find myself a comfortable chair. Once settling in, I close my eyes and visualize (in vivid color) the dreams I hold dear to my heart so I can be reminded why I am on the path I chose for myself. This is the single most powerful tool I have at my disposal because it never fails to reinvigorate the enthusiasm and desire for the so-called impossible dreams to manifest. This is how I eventually became the world's first deaf instrument rated pilot, among other things.

5. Exercise - Working out at the gym clears my mind, gets the blood circulating and makes me feel better afterwards, particularly if I had a vigorous run on the treadmill. I feel like a new person, ready to tackle the challenges at hand with a fresh perspective.

The 5 ways I deal with adversity are by no means a complete list of things I do but they count among the most important for me. What about you?
Here are the following bloggers, newsletter publishers and website owners that I am tagging today (in no particular order of preference or status):

Ron McDaniel - Buzzoodle
Jane Genova - Speechwriter/Ghostwriter
Meryl -
Leon Ho - LifeHack
Guy Kawasaki -How to Change the World
Aaron Potts - Today is that Day
Rajesh Setty - Life Beyond Code
Howard Putnam - Former CEO Southwest Airlines
Wendy - Wings for the Spirit
Patrick Combs - Good Thinking Co.
Seth Godin - Seth Godin's Blog
Chris Garrett - Chris Garrett on New Media
Joe Vitale - "Mr. Fire"
Steve Pavlina - Personal Development for Smart People
Michael Werner - Dream Jobs Dialog
Robin Hamman - Ouch!
Eric Lochtefeld - University of Dreams
Nita - Moments
Stephen Shapiro - Goal Free Life
Tony Brigmon - FUN Meetings
Diary of a Bronx Teacher
California Teacher Guy
Karen Putz - A Deaf Mom Shares Her World
Laura Faeth - Sound of Your Soul
Cyan Ta'eed - The Freelance Switch
Darren Rowse - Problogger

Okay, there I'm done! Let's go and inspire people around the world!

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Anonymous Carolyn Manning said...

Stephen, sometimes things take me a while (you know, that "I'll do it tomorrow" syndrome), but finally I've written an adversity post. It's over at ProductivityGoal and perhaps I'll even do another at Thoughts & Philosophies, but not tomorrow :)

8:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...

Thanks Carol for participating!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Hi Stephen;

Thanks for this article, it got me thinking, and that's always good. As I couldn't seem to locate your email address/button, I am putting my post info for this experiment here. Though nobody tagged me, I found it to interesting to pass up. You can find my article, and tag list, here: Dealing With Adversity - 7 Tips for Success

I hope you like it, and I hope it's not over yet!

Cheers, Marc

3:51 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Hi Stephen;

Thanks for this article, it got me thinking, and that's always good. As I couldn't seem to locate your email address/button, I am putting my post info for this experiment here. Though nobody tagged me, I found it to interesting to pass up. You can find my article, and tag list, here: Dealing With Adversity - 7 Tips for Success

I hope you like it, and I hope it's not over yet!

Cheers, Marc

3:51 PM  
Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...


I don't know why you couldn't find the email link but it's supposed to be seen on the right side of the screen.

Anyhow, thanks so much for participating in this experiment. I really enjoyed reading your tips and liked the "get advice" and "take a break" tips. Both are great ways to step back from the situation at hand.


5:52 PM  

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