Adversity and Opportunity

In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time. ~ Robert Collier
This is another great quote to remind us that all of life is a dichotomy. Nothing (or very few things or events) are all bad or all good. The good has the seeds of disaster (look at most lottery winners) and every bad has the “seed of an equivalent advantage.” The critical factor is the choice you make mentally when it occurs, the way you frame the experience, and the resulting actions that you take.

There are always some financial ups and downs, good years and bad, months that run out of money before they run out of month. We are faced with the choice of how to deal with these issues. Option 1 is to complain, rail against the world, and curse our bad luck. To use phrases like, “I can never get ahead,” “just when I think I will have some extra, this happens,” and “if it weren’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.” We continue to feed and water the idea that it is us against the world. When we take this approach, we keep seeing the bad things, the things that cost more or wear out or need to be replaced. This aspect of our lives becomes bigger and bigger. Lack, need, and worry rule the day.

Option 2 is to look for the seed of opportunity. Rather than lament the broken water pipe (like I did last summer!), look for the opportunity it brings. Perhaps you have been meaning to re-examine your budget and spending, and the need for a lot of repair cash brings this goal into sharp focus. You are meaning to get new insurance quotes, re-examine your deductibles, and try to save some money. Boom – now is the time to jump into that. When the emergency fund gets hit, it is a great time to re-examine how much you have in there and how much would really make you comfortable. Opportunity! Right now!

You can also look around and see all the things that are going right. I noticed my ceiling fan the other day (ok, first I noticed the dust on my ceiling fan, but then eventually I came around to noticing the actual fan.) I have had that fan since I bought the house almost 13 years ago, and it runs 24 hours a day for half the year. That is a hard-working fan. I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of that fan. That appreciation made me look around at all the other things in my house that are working. This is purely a matter of where to put my focus and attention, but I went through a spell of paying attention to things that didn’t work and that was no fun at all.

I am trying every day to seek out that “equivalent advantage” in every area of my life where things seem to be going in a different direction than I had planned. The advantage or opportunity is always there if I look hard enough, move myself into action, and pay more attention to all the good that is happening around me than to one small bad.

What is your financial challenge right now? What is the “seed of equivalent advantage?” There is certainly some opportunity there, and I challenge you to grab hold of it and run with it. Who knows what could happen or what that might lead.

To your financial success (and opportunities)!