The broken: finding opportunity amongst the pain

It feels like you have your hands tied behind your back. You stand there, defenceless, while this entity called “life” is free to taunt and hit you wherever it likes.

Sometimes the blows don’t come. Our frustration gives it enough satisfaction. Other times, the blows rain heavy and harsh and we are powerless to stop them.

But only sometimes.

Life isn’t really like that. Yes, there are things outside of our control. But we can always hold the reins that guide our thoughts and actions. We can raise our hands and protect ourselves. We can determine how we respond. And at no point is that self-determination more important than in a crisis.

It could be your company failing. You could of been made redundant. You could have lost a loved one. Crises vary, but they share one similarity: they can bring you to your knees.

But only if you allow it.

As Saul Alinsky, community organiser and activist observed:

“The Chinese write the word “crisis” with two characters. One means danger and the other means opportunity. Together they spell crisis.”

​We think that crises take from us. They take our jobs. They take our happiness. They take our wellbeing. But they also give us something. They give us a chance to come back harder and stronger and better.

Somewhere buried in all the pain is a way upwards. A way for you to use the crisis to become a better person. A way for you to profit from your biggest loss.

But you’ll only find it if you look for it.

Hemingway, unsurprisingly, put it perfectly: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”

Being broken is not the end but a new beginning.

Ask yourself, what can you build from the wreckage?