The definition of adversity is serious or continued difficulty or misfortune. It seems counterintuitive, therefore to believe that opportunity can be found in times of adversity. But it can. And I don't mean the kind of opportunity that's exploitative and self-serving. I mean the kind of opportunity that allows for an opening to something different, something new, and maybe even something wonderful.

At the same time, when faced with difficulty, most of us want to run from it and avoid it altogether. (Even the most heroic among us have something they run from.) It's in these moments that the over-simplified advice to "embrace difficulty," leaves us thinking, what the fu**? How the hell do I do that when I can't even stay in the same room with whatever difficulty it is I'm facing?

When faced with difficult situations, I've found it useful to question my take on things. And not only that, but to question in a way that lends itself to active-ness. Specifically, I mean a question that's connected with my whole self, not just my head, but also not just my doing/action self.

This infographic has 6 questions culled from dozens of experiences I've had over the years in times of difficulty. Think of them as different ways to experiment seeing and maybe even experiencing life's challenging moments. They've helped me avoid the slippery slope of overanalyzing on the one hand or over-doing on the other.

Here's is a downloadable pdf of the image below that can be used as a visual reminder. It's intended to be a bookmark, but feel free to use it in whatever way you want. (When printed it's a little over 3 inches wide by 11 inches long.)

Just print it in color (and on 8x11 card-stock if you plan to use it as a bookmark). To get two out of one, cut it in half along the horizontal border between the LISTEN and FOLLOW sections. This creates two bookmarks out of one! For examples of how I've used each of these 6 questions/tips, check out these stories:

How to Find Opportunity in Adversity


Can I be present with what is?


Can I suspend assumptions & certainties?


Can I listen to my inner self?


Can I follow my curiosity & wonder?


Can I exercise my attitude?


Can I embrace not knowing?

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