In 1857, a massive financial crisis started in Ohio. Very soon, it resulted in a national depression in the US that lasted several years.
John D Rockerfeller was a small-time investor then. He lived in Cleveland, Ohio. And had just started out. Everything around him was crumbling. Investors were scared and money was flowing back out of the market.
Even Rockerfeller’s own father pulled out and ran. But John D remained unflappable. He saved his money and waited. Observed. Patient.
Everyone around him was complaining about why this was happening TO them.
What was the learning that this challenge was offering him? What were others doing wrong? He observed patiently.
He learned from the market. Learned from others. He used this time for education.
The lesson he learned from those three and a half years of adversity made him one of the greatest investors of all time. His teachings remain alive in Warren Buffet today.
In the midst of adversity lies our greatest opportunity.
As Epictetus said:
The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck.
For what purpose?
To turn you into Olympic-class material.
What is it that you are not seeing? You may be challenged in many different ways. But what are you choosing not to see?
There is growth in this challenge. There is an opportunity. Try to see it.
Be objective. Patient.
This is happening for you, not to you.