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Dan Miller Christian Blog and Commentary

Adversity or Opportunity?

  • Dan Miller
    Dan Miller
    Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love , No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences on aging and changes in the workplace, and at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love. Committed to personal priorities, Dan and his wife Joanne have celebrated their 45th anniversary and have 3 world-changing children and 12 amazing grandchildren.
  • 2013 Aug 19
  • Comments

Within a few seconds after birth, a baby giraffe struggles to its feet. Shortly afterward, however, the mother will knock it over from that first wobbly stance. This process is repeated each time the baby struggles to its feet until the young giraffe has the strength to stand in a firm and unwavering position. What seems like an unkind and cruel act is in fact of vital importance to the survival of the young animal. It is, in fact, an act of love by the mother for its child. For the baby giraffe, the world is a dangerous place and it must quickly learn how to respond to unexpected challenges and get back up on its feet. Now I don’t imagine that the baby giraffe welcomes being knocked around or particularly thanks Mom for the experience. I doubt that the little guy understands that there is an important lesson being learned.

Is there perhaps a life principle here that we try to avoid as well?  What does “failure” teach us?  Should we avoid it at all costs?  Does failure chip away at our fragile egos and lessen our chances of ultimate success?  Is it Satan who always causes our failures and God who always wants us to win?

Research shows us that entrepreneurs fail an average of 3.8 times before they finally make it in a business venture.  They recognize that three steps forward and two steps backward still have a net result of one step of progress.  If you can decide to see your own “failures” as a necessary part of your progress, you will separate yourself from the average person and put yourself into the category of potential high achiever.

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant."  Horace

Most people try to avoid failure like a bad disease.  They cringe at the prospect and may stay in a safe but unchallenging position, an unfulfilling job, a familiar but boring car, at the bottom of the hill as others master the peak.  

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  Henry Ford

Embrace failure as a legitimate step in the right direction.  See it as a stepping stone toward the success you want.  

From the Bible

“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.”  Proverbs 24:10 (KJV)

Direction for Today:

Describe a time when you felt you were being “knocked down” only to realize later that the experience saved you or made you wiser.