There were a couple of college courses I did not want to take because the teachers and their reputation for being really hard and and demanding. Unfortunately, I went to a small college and there was no getting around the courses — there were no passes. There are no passes with trials and hardships in life. We don’t get a pass on dealing with hard things, difficult situations, or troublesome events or issues in life. We think other people have it so easy, but in reality, we all have experienced, or are going to experience, hardships and trials. Some people seem to deal so much more effectively with hardships than others, and I sometimes wonder what their secrets are in handling such difficult situations.
Here are six key traits people have that help them handle hardships and trials:
- Faith. In our culture, we want to believe that if we are “just strong enough” internally, we can survive anything, but foundationally we miss the key truth. Faith gives hope and insight to current hardships. It recognizes power beyond our own understanding. The human spirit cannot endure alone; there has to be a greater power or reason.
- Well Prepared. People who have survived hardships talk of the amount of time and effort they made to prepare themselves for the coming challenges. A person cannot show up for a marathon and expect to compete without first having prepared for some time by running and building up their stamina. Those who prepare are also more ready to deal with setbacks and hardships.
- Prespective. Seeing the big picture and how things come together and how things tend to work out gives a person perspective about a hardship or a hard trial they are experiencing. People with perspective sometimes understand they just have to get through this time or period in their life. Once a hardship is behind them, the world looks different.
- Endurance. So many people quit when the finish line is just around the corner. They give up when just a little more effort could make all the difference between winning and losing. The ability to endure and to have “grit” is a profound characteristic that is a game changer. People with a spirit of endurance inspire me and remind me that things may take time.
- Confidence. The tipping point in hardships and tough situations is having confidence in what the outcome looks like. People are drawn to people who have experienced in what the outcome looks like. People are drawn to people who have experienced tough things and can point to “key touchstones” to get through the tough times. Their confidence is contagious and has a calming effect. Their confidence is not braggadocios or overinflated.
- Courage. Courage rings all these elements together. The faith and insight, being well prepared, perspective, endurance and confidence jell at the right moment of hardship and trials. Courage gives us the ability to fight through a hardship or challenge.
No one wants hardships, difficult times or enormous challenges. It is not in our humnan nature. But the trails and hard times are going to happen. Are you prepared? Are you doing the little things to get ready?
See you in McAllen!