While in the pursuit of a successful life there are a few things you can be certain of. You will face adversity at some stage and you will also fail at some point in your life.
However, what separates someone who is successful from someone who is not is how they deal with adversity and failing.
“The successful people are the ones who learn how to overcome it [failure] and the unsuccessful ones…are the ones who want to wallow in it. They’d rather complain about what happened to them and whose fault it was and why it happened.” – Bill Bartmann
Bartmann certainly has had more than his far share of adversity. However, rather than let adversity crush him, he has used adversity to strengthen his character and forge a formidable mindset – a mindset programmed to create wealth.
“The people I know who are successful, the people who contribute to our society, are people who have failed many times, who have been frustrated many, many times, who have been broke, like Mr. Bartmann, many times. But somehow, they never quit.” – Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
And Bill Bartmann has identified that there is 3-step process of dealing with adversity. Progress through these three steps and you will achieve success.
This is when we focus on what we have lost. The problem for many people is that they stay stuck at this step. They wallow in self-pity sharing their tales of woe with anyone who cares to listen.
They seek to apportion blame and they question how life could be so cruel. They don’t accept responsibility for their life and so relinquish the power to change their current reality to one that is more pleasing.
This is the stage when you appreciate and focus on what you still have as Oprah Winfrey said:
“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”
When you direct your attention on what you still have you realise that you have much to grateful for. For instance, you may have lost material possessions but still have your capacity to regain those material possessions. And it shouldn’t take you so long this time around as you already know how to acquire these things. However, if you stretch yourself and increase your awareness, skills and knowledge you can probably achieve even greater things.
There was a time in Bill Bartmann’s life when the majority of people who befriended him when he was rich abandoned him when he went through a period of being broke. That year, just one person sent him a Christmas card. It’s a card he carries with him always because it serves as a reminder that no matter how tough things are there is still one person who still considered him a friend.
3. New Perspective
This is when you realise what you have gained from what you have lost. This is not always immediately apparent but one thing is sure. If you continually express your gratitude for what you have and strive to improve your current circumstances eventually a new way of looking at things will be revealed to you.
As Oscar Wilde said:
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
In other words, you can lie face up or face down – it’s up to you.
Bill Bartmann realises that success and failure go hand in hand and so he accepts both and works with whatever life throws at him.
“I’m neither awed by success nor am I intimidated by failure. I kinda treat both of them as being much the same thing – just opposite sides of the same coin.”
So if you’re currently dealing with adversity or failure, flip the coin. You’ll find your successful life on the other side.