A Simple Formula for Dealing with Adversity


By: Coach Ron Wolforth

It has been suggested by several philosophers throughout history that mankind, at his essence, is a spiritual and emotional being having a physical experience, rather than a physical being occasionally coping with emotional or spiritual issues

I personally believe that to be true. At our core, we are spiritual and emotional beings.

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

One of the common things people do when faced with the inevitable adversities of life is to marinate in the emotion and fret over all the variables that may have contributed to the problem and indeed may further exacerbate it.  I do stress ALL the variables, even and especially the ones outside of our control or influence.

We’ve all done it.  We’ve all ‘worried about the weather’ so to speak.

Here’s the rub. We all only have so much energy to give to problems and their solutions. I suggest a simple formula for maximizing our response to adversity.

Notice I said simple…not easy.

Because we are primarily emotional beings, so often we get stuck in the emotion of our difficulties.  Following the formula will NOT be easy but I promise you it will be helpful.

The Formula for Dealing with Adversity

Step #1. Learn the lesson. Quickly identify the primary thing(s) (3 max) this specific experience is teaching you.

Don’t go past 3…EVER.  If it’s that complicated, first deal with the top 1-3 primary issues then possibly circle back around, but don’t get bogged down in the complexity. A vast majority of the time you will find that learning the primary lessons and dealing with those effectively will significantly change the dynamic of the situation for the better.

But I do emphasize…LEARN THE LESSON.

Repeating the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is indeed a form of insanity.

It might be helpful to actually ask your brain… “What am I supposed to learn here?” Your unconscious brain will go to work for you. The more often you ask it and the better questions you ask it…the better your answers will become.

Step #2. Focus on what YOU can control. Inside of these ‘lessons’ are actionable pieces that are within your control.

Spend ALL of your energy here. It’s truthfully the only part that is within your ability to change anyway. The rest is simply a distraction. Frustration occurs when you are focused on the problem. When you become completely immersed in the parts of the solution that are within your control…frustration goes away.

Step #3. Quickly as you can…turn the page. Move on. Don’t marinate in your problems.

Too often we get stuck in the emotion of it all. It hurts. It’s discouraging. It’s embarrassing. It’s infuriating. It’s disheartening. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening.

Yes it probably is, but there is little future in staying in that room and repeating “If ONLY this….and If ONLY that.”

Train your emotional self to move on.  Refuse to be stuck. Refuse to be a rudderless victim.

As I mentioned before, we ALL only have so much energy to expend on a specific issue. Don’t waste that energy ruminating about things that are outside of your control or influence.

When we were very young we realized that we could influence and shape the behaviors of others around us by crying or being very upset.

In truth, that lesson of manipulation is one of the most counterproductive lessons we will ever learn.  It only works with a very specific few people.  The world at large will typically not respond to our sadness. The world really cares less about if we think things are fair or not. Pouting or fits of anger will typically not be productive


Conclusion: The formula only works if you do all three.

  1. Learn the lesson(s)
  2. Adapt. Adjust. Overcome
  3. Quickly turn the page


Previous post:

Next post: