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Stop Playing Safe: Rethink Risk. Unlock the Power of Courage. Achieve Outstanding Success by Margie Warrell

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Chapter 6

Seize opportunity from your adversity

Disappointment and adversity can be catalysts for greatness.

Catherine Freeman

We recently bought a powerboat so we could teach our kids to water ski and for them to enjoy tubing behind the boat on the picturesque Gippsland Lakes where I grew up. In the spirit of fun, we created a competition to come up with the best name for our new boat. My oldest son, Lachlan, won the prize. His suggestion: Usain Boat, inspired by Usain Bolt’s Olympic gold medal haul. As we launched Usain Boat into the water for the first time it made me think how the biggest obstacle a powerboat has to overcome is the water against its propeller. Yet if it weren’t for the water, the boat wouldn’t move at all. The same law, that obstacles are a condition of success, is true for us all.

Mastery of life is not the absence of problems, but the mastery of problems. If you want to achieve greater success in your life, you have to be willing to take on bigger obstacles. The people who live the most rewarding lives are not those with the smallest problems but those who dare to face the most difficult. Just think about the problems that people such as Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, Bill Gates and Bono chose to take on. Often you can judge the size of a person by the size of their challenges.

People who achieve greatly do so not because they know they’ll always succeed, but because they know that however things turn out, they’ll be able to deal with ...

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