When “things” get tough, the survivors stand out. Why is it that some people are able deal with whatever life throws at them and others aren’t? When times are tough, some of us seem to have an uncanny ability to focus on overcoming all adversity and the rest of us are overwhelmed by the adversity. Why?
We even have entertainment – survivor reality shows – that appeal to our desire to survive. Of course, these reality shows often show some of the worse ways that humans behave in order to survive adversity. But, I guess the bad behavior on these shows adds to the entertainment value. Frankly, I have never enjoyed the shows. On the other hand, I must admit that I haven’t taken the time to watch them enough in order to give a fair overall assessment. I simply haven’t been able to “get into them!”
So, let’s focus on the real survivors in life. These are the survivors that have survived hard times and great adversity. What makes these survivors able to do better than those who don’t survive? What is their secret?
Perhaps, the most important characteristic that survivors have is their ability to NOT let adversity bother them. In fact, most survivors face adversity in such a way that those around them have no idea they are going through hard times. They don’t complain or worry about what they’ve lost. They simply look for more options and move on. Instead of dwelling on losses, they dwell on getting-done what needs to be done. They have the attitude that the past is to learn from, the future is to be created and the present is to live in.
Attitude, one’s mental feeling, is extremely important for survival. If one has an attitude of being mad at everyone and everything for her/his adversity and hard times, then much energy will be wasted dwelling on the past. But, if one has an attitude of a clear, powerful, and hopeful intention to survive, then much energy will be directed toward making her/his present and future better. Therefore, instead of being a victim caused by madness, the person becomes a survivor caused by her/his positive attitude. Perhaps, this is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Now, please don’t think I’m advocating that when faced with adversity and/or hard times, you simply put a smile on your face and pretend everything will get better. A survivor is an action person. When in the act of survival, one must consider all options and/or behaviors. After careful consideration of all options, the survivor will choose appropriately and confidently, allowing her/him to know that things will work out.
And lastly, the survivor must focus on positive thinking. Beliefs and expectations that are positive and realistic are essential to surviving. Considering such things as safety and surety are important, but if they are placed in front of positive beliefs and expectations, then instead of surviving, the person will have a safe and sure hard time! :-(