Most times, when talking about great achievers, we focus on the ‘talent’ and not how they overcame adversities. However, their story is more than just talent. Have you ever wondered how the state of Israel has risen so high to the peak almost in every sector including, business, the militia, agriculture and what have you? Though small, embattled on every side, and seemingly unlucky to be occupying a deserted territory, the country has successfully transformed its woe into wealth. The secret for the unusual economic miracle is not just a story of talent, but of self-awareness, tenacity, insatiable questioning of authority, and unique attitude towards failure, teamwork, risk and cross-disciplinary creativity. Below are other qualities for turning adversity into inventiveness;
- Unique attitude to failure
Attitude is everything. The unique thing about the attitude of great men is the ability to focus on the positive, even when all is negative. No matter how many times they failed, they never give up at any moment. Thomas Edison could only produce a light bulb after so many failed attempts. Guess what he said! “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Though it is clearly failure, he never interpreted it as failure. He then added, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Life offers nothing to those who don’t believe in their worth for living. Optimism is power; it energizes and quickens the soul to push on and overcome challenges. Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Eleanor Roosevelt, among others, admitted that what got them through tough times was an ability to focus on the positive. Even when there was nothing to believe in, they believed anyway. They faced up to the stark reality.
Tom Butler Bowdon wrote, “Optimistic people tend to believe not simply because they believed that everything will turn out right, but because the expectation of success makes them work harder.” If you expect little, you will to be motivated even to try. The truth is that the innovative don’t always hit it at the first attempt. But with persistence, faith, and the right attitude, you will soon find yourself on the altitude.
An African Proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” What a pregnant saying! What matters is not how fast you can run, but how far you can reach. Teamwork plays a major role in achieving greatness.
Michael Jordan believes that “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” This is true because none of us is as smart as all of us. Every great work needs a great team to achieve a great success. Asides from the fun and adventure of moving in company, there is strength, motivation and invincibility in a team. On the other hand, the one who stands alone, dies alone.
If you are determined to bail out of that challenge, you just need to team up with the right people. Teamwork gives you the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Great things never come from comfort zones. The journey to success involves taking risks. If you win, you can lead, if you lose you can guide.
Mark Zuckerberg said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” The safest route to failure is the fear of pushing yourself to reach your goal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Innovating is a risk by itself. It’s like hanging on a thin rope across the Great Canyon. It’s either you travel the wire to the destination, or end up in the abyss by making a simple mistake. The uncertainty of the success is enough to stymie one from moving on. But you just need to push yourself on. Never give up. Be action oriented.
- Cross-disciplinary creativity
Great innovations integrate more than one discipline to realize the goal. Inventors know something about everything, which they bring to an equilibrium for impact. The gate to cross-disciplinary creativity is prolific reading.
Seth Godin said, “It is not an accident that successful people read more books.” Successful people derive their motivations from reading. Reading is the means of absorbing the clues of success. If you can read about the accomplishments of those you admire, you cannot help but lift your own sights.
Go for knowledge, win the gold.
From the seven steps discussed in this article, on how to turn your adversity into inventiveness, you must have seen that the bad also works for good. It all depends on how you perceive it. Pain brings you to a better understanding of yourself. Stay committed to your goal, giving no room for conformity with the status quo. Develop the right attitude towards failure even as you travel on a team of positive minds. Take risks, and be everywhere.
See you on top.