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He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior

Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)

It is inevitable as a business owner that at some time on your journey you will hit that “T-Junction” or worse the “Brick Wall”. This “life happening” and “what to do now” are not taught at Business School.

At this point, most throw in the towel, but there are some who dig deep and keep moving. One of the key success factors is overcoming adversity and bouncing back.

Remember: there are always positives that are borne out of adversity as it:

· Gives us a life wakeup call
· Exposes our weaknesses and strengths
· Increases our willingness and the importance of doing good
· Strengthens our faith
· Strips us from pride, arrogance and self-centeredness
· Prepares us for a meaningful future
· Enables us to have empathy with others facing adversity
· Allows us to seize new and meaningful opportunities

As I have learned and grown through the years, I have found the key survival strategies that have allowed me to get through the tough times are:


Adversity is unavoidable. Don’t fight it, accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it. You are where you are meant to be. Everyone goes through adversity at different times in life, no one is immune to pain and adversity. Your turn is now. Learn from the past. Don’t linger on the past or regret the past.

Don’t assume what will never happen:

Don’t assume the worst in the road ahead. Focus on the now. 99% of what you assume never happens.

A positive attitude:

Pain and death are part of life. Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We can choose to be strong. It is not misfortune that produces suffering, but an improper reaction to it. Even under the worst circumstances, we can choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Be positive, exude happiness, build self-confidence, be energised and make today and tomorrow important in your life. Yesterday is gone forever.


This could be the hardest of all, although one of the first things we must develop when faced with adversity. The key to developing patience is to know in the end everything will work out the way it’s intended to. Surrender yourself to the fact that there is a time frame for everything. Importantly, it is just a matter of time and everything will be OK for you.


Forgive others for wronging you. By not allowing yourself to forgive you utilize a great deal of negative energy as you harbour old thoughts and feelings. Forgiveness is a breakthrough and will allow you to be clear-headed in your road ahead. It makes a better person out of you. It takes away bitterness and anger. It takes special people to forgive unconditionally. Become that someone special and you will get a kick-start in your new life.


Give yourself the space or freedom to be you. Accept that many people, places, and things in your past and current life are irrational, unhealthy, and toxic influences in your life. Label them honestly for what they truly are and stop minimizing their negative impact in your life.

Quiet time:

Allow for quiet time to reflect. Take some time out daily to relax your mind and humble your heart. You will find your answers in the silence.

Do things:

Eliminate boredom otherwise it will lead you toward frustration and depression. Take up a hobby, do some writing, volunteer your time or spend time with friends and family. Any, or all of this, will make you feel good about yourself, allowing you to want to move forward.

It could be worse:

Count your blessings. Look around you. Read the daily newspapers. Become exposed to various charities and you will see that you are not that bad off.

The opportunity:

We need winter to appreciate summer, rain to appreciate the sunshine, and adversity to be thankful for the calm after the storm. Adversity is an opportunity to lift yourself to a higher level. A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.

Have the strength to become the victor. Clear your head of the past and focus on the future. It is only you that can decide on the path ahead and you can decide whatever you want.

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