It’s easy to keep going when things are great. Yet when adversity strikes it tests your character and often exposes areas of work in your personal development. While those areas are “opportunities for growth” – the first person to point that out may get punched…

According to Bill Gates “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

It also seduces you into thinking that the dream journey will be easy. That blood, sweet and tears aren’t required. If that were true everyone you know would be living the life they were intended to live. There would be no rat race. Every minute of every day would be filled with hope and joy…but that’s just not the world we live in is it? Darn you Eve!

Looking back, I started My Dream Catalyst with the idea that I could and would save you the pain and heartache that comes with adversity. Sounds crazy to put that in words – but I realize now #1 that’s not possible, #2 you’re not new to adversity and #3 pretending that your days with adversity are over would rob you of what adversity has to teach you. While you can’t avoid adversity and I can’t save you, I can give you tools to help prepare you for the journey.

Transformation doesn’t happen without adversity.

The good news is that adversity has a purpose and that is transformation.  I’ll go so far as to say that it gives you gifts IF you’re willing to go through and even embrace your messy. Below are 7 gifts adversity has given me through the years.

1. Humility:  By making mistakes, being in situations that I could not change, not getting what I want and by struggling to achieve my dreams I found the gift of humility. Life is no longer me versus the world or us versus them – it is we. In humility I found a common humanity.

2. Unquenchable Fight: The more I’ve been through the stronger I become.  I  don’t take no for an answer. I may stop for a time; take a break or redirect but my fight to keep going is incredible – even to me.

3. Kindness: Once my own walls came down I learned how much of an empath I really am. My goal each day is to really see people and connect with them in some way even it’s to simply ask “How’s Your Day Going?”.

4. Belly Laughs:  Humor has gotten me through many things. When I laugh now I feel it in my bones. My pain may have been deep but that has allowed laughter and love to run ever deeper.

5. Patience: This was a BIGGIE for me. Learning to let go of how things should be – picking myself up and going in a different direction when things went South. When you open up to what could be sometimes the outcome is better than your plan.

6. Purpose & Passion: In addition to fighting for myself I’ve become a fighter and advocate to help others discover and claim their dreams. Everyone has something they do like only they do it.

7. Faith: I prayed for many years for God to take away many things.  I learned that I was missing the point and in the midst of a crisis I started to pray “Lord help me to learn from this”.  That became “Lord help me to believe”.  And now that has become “Lord help me to surrender”. While I am still learning to trust more each day my faith in Jesus Christ has grown exponentially. My faith has allowed me to let go of what I can’t control; of what I can’t see and of needing to know all of the answers. And in that letting go I have found peace.

Which gifts has adversity given you?

Copyright 2015, Mary R Miller,