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Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. I watched the leaders debate on television last evening, both here in New Zealand & briefly in the USA ~briefly was more than enough…

The more I watch news on the television, the more I was going to say, get depressed. Rather, I am not sure anyone has an appropriate answer to the current problems in either New Zealand or around the world. Hence, the inspiration for this week. Like trees bending in the wind, resilient people gain strength from adversity.

I recall hearing some time back:           “Thoughts become Things.”  [1]
If you conclude your best days are over ~ they are. If you think they are ahead, they are.                       

I read the following story the other day about a chap named Leonard. After losing his job with a Fortune 500 company, he was fearful & depressed. Then, it occurred to him, if he gave up what would he be teaching his son?  If he did not overcome his challenges, his son would learn to let his challenges beat him. Leonard was determined; although his dad was knocked down, he could get back up.

So he dug out his CV & called his friends to tell them all his news & he needed a job. Several months & many interviews later, he had four job offers, & now works for a company who value his talents.
Another story: when harvesting potatoes, Idaho farmers would sort them according to size; small medium, large. Yet a particular farmer who did not follow this practice, made more money than the rest. Puzzled, a neighbour asked; “What is your secret?” ‘Simple’ he replied, ‘I load my wagon & take the roughest road to town. During the trip the small potatoes fall to the bottom, the medium ones settle in the middle, & the big potatoes rise to the top.’ The same is true of people. On the bumpy road of life, big potatoes rise to the top.
‘Regardless of the adversity you face, your purpose must be greater than your challenges. Instead of focusing on your problems, focus on your purpose. Instead of seeing yourself as a victim, see yourself as a hero. Heroes & victims both get knocked down, but heroes get back up, & armed with faith, they create a positive future.   [2]
Gaining strength from adversity is achieved by:

  • Staying connected ~ two are better than one, if either of them falls… one can help the other. [3]
  • Monitor self-talk ~ watch how you spin your situation. When you catch yourself speaking negatively, reframe things. Instead of sitting around wallowing in fear & anger, & whining about how you arrived here, focus on what you can control ~ your words…
  • Look for lighter moments ~ when Donna Goldman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she continued to teach. ‘I let the children play with my walking canes ~ as long as they not use them for weapons… And her car registration plate says: ‘Get Back Up’.
  • Give back ~ Renee Weinhouse, who survived stage IV lymphoma & runs a support group, says, ‘nothing makes me happier than giving a patent hope’.
  • Take care of themselves ~ a healthy diet & regular exercise assist repair brain areas susceptible to stress.  [4]
I believe we need to treat resilience as accepting our new reality, even if it is less good than the one you had before. We can fight it, or do nothing but scream about what you have lost, or you can accept & try to put together something good.

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes.
[1] Laura Reduenz
[2] Jon Gordons’ bestselling books & talks have inspired readers & audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional & college sports teams, schools, hospitals & non-profits. He is the author of 20 books including 8 best-sellers. He & his training/consultancy company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organisations &b teams.
[3] Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
[4] Bob Gass ~ (born 1944 died 5th June 2019) was an American-based broadcaster & author of several books. He was raised in Northern Ireland, but moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States when he was 18 years old. He became involved in leadership for over 40 years, but much of his inspiration was based on the Biblical principles instilled in him by his mother.

Kenn Butler
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