The Upside of the Downside

Richard Farson highlights the following in his brilliant book – “Whoever makes the most mistakes wins.

Ask very successful people about their journey that led them to where they are and you will hear that most of them had a checkered past. Nothing happens in a straight line.

We tend to forget the above and think that others get it easy. It’s only us that have to “go through hell” to reach the top.

I have written about this before but it’s worth repeating – your biggest learning comes during the tough times. Even when you remember highlights from your past jobs, what you will typically cherish are those moments where you emerged victorious from one or more tough situations.

Apart from the deep learning that you will experience because of the “downsides” that you will go through, here are a few more “upsides”

1. Inspiration for the future

How can any downside provide an inspiration? It may not provide any inspiration for now but when you emerge from the funk you are in now, that journey of bouncing back from the downside will provide an inspiration for the future.

2. Creativity Boost

Tough times are when you have to do more with less. You have less resources of some nature (less time, less money, less energy or less of all the above) but you still have to get something done.

3. Dig deeper into existing potential

I was listening to the Internet Marketing Guru Rich Schefren at a conference. One of his points in the talk was that if you are not tapping into existing potential, adding new potential may not be worth much. A downside provides an opportunity to dig deeper into your “already existing” potential since you won’t have the time or energy to go in search of “new potential.”

4. Ego tune-up

Tough times are when you discover your humility (that sometimes gets lost in a sea of ego). You know that you should be humble but tough times show that it’s not an optional thing.

5. Emergence of true friends

Friends are fun and you will have lots of them when going is good. When tough times emerge, many friends sort of get busy with their own lives. Some though, remain with you whatever be your situation. They are the keepers and it’s good to know who they are.

6. Learn the lessons of leverage

Tough times are when you realize you are not sufficient to take care of ALL of your problems. It is when you realize that you need HELP. It does not matter how smart you are, you won’t have all the knowledge and resources to take care of your concerns. You need HELP just like everyone else needs help. During tough times, you get that concept etched in your brain.

7. Awareness about your emotional bank account balance

You need help. That help has to come from someone outside of you. What have you done for them in the past that will make them take the cost of helping you? In other words, what’s the balance in your emotional bank account? Whatever the answer is, an awareness of the current state of affairs in this department will motivate you to do better in the future.

As you can see, there are so many upsides to a downside. Rather than complaining about it, start making the most out of it. To sum it up, let me quote Winston Churchill who said – “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

It can’t get simpler than that anymore.

Photo Credit: Pleasantonian on Flickr