Adverse to Advantage

by Swami Prajnanananda
Created: 15 Jun, 2012

Sridhar was expecting a promotion that year. When the results came, he was shocked to know that he was not chosen for the position as he expected. He felt bad that his hard work was not recognized. It was a great set back in his career. He took this as a challenge, resigned his job and started his own company. Due to his bold decision, trust in his own strength and the cooperation of the employees, his company grew much bigger than his competitors in five years time. In another two years, Sridhar purchased the company where he was working previously and dominated the market in his domain. Like Sridhar most of us have come across situations which we thought as adverse turned to be advantageous.

As individuals we are limited and cannot understand all that happen around us. But anything that happens has a meaning and purpose. There is nothing called accident. When we do not know the cause, we call it an accident. When it rains during a lawn party, the host thinks it is bad but for a farmer expecting rain, it is a blessing. Rain itself is not bad. When it rains without our expectation, we consider it as bad. So adverse or advantage depends on how we perceive a given situation. It is the difference between what we expected and what we got. It does not mean that we are helpless. Every one of us has a great potential to convert an adverse situation to advantage. How?

There are two ways to approach this problem of adverse situation. First you should use your free will, look at things objectively and put your efforts unceasingly to convert any given situation to your advantage. As human beings, we are blessed with free will and have the capacity to convert negative into positive. You should develop an attitude to be calm in difficult situations and think of alternate solutions. An agitated mind magnifies difficulties. Belleve in yourself and the great weapon with you-'free will’. Think of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. They all have excelled in adverse conditions. Prisons have produced some of the best writers. Successful people did not have best of everything, they made best of everything. In fact it is an interesting game to convert negative to positive. You just need to look at things differently and work towards your goal with focus. It is just like the story of two sales guys who were asked to sell shoes in an island where people never wore shoes. The first one said it is hopeless and returned back. The second one was jubilant and ordered for thousand pairs. He saw the opportunity of so many people wanting shoes. | have a friend who became the CEO of a leading company from the position of an ordinary employee. He chose to go to Japan when all others refused to go there fearing communication problems as they did not know the language. This guy saw the opportunity, went there, learnt the language and climbed up the ladder. What did he do differently? He saw the opportunity in a situation where all others saw difficulties and he worked hard in the right direction. Looking at things objectively, using free will with determination and cool mind gives you the advantage. Now let us see how the second approach works. There are some situations where you don't find an immediate solution. When you find no working alternative, undergo the difficult situation patiently as a learning period and improve yourself. Keep an eye for the right time to take advantage. In creation there is no positive without negative. If you have a body, you will have pleasure and pain. Anything that comes must go. No human being is exempted from suffering. With patience, what appeared to be adverse becomes normal and then advantageous. Most of us think difficult situations are bad. We blame our horoscope and planets for our suffering. In fact difficult situations teach us lot things which we would have never learnt in normal situations. We understand the world better in difficult times. We will come to know who our true friends are. We will also know our real strength. This is the real learning period. Who will find time to learn the lessons of living if everything goes well? Whenever a difficult situation is given, think it is given by God for your learning. Accept it and undergo the situation with courage. Look at nature. There are four seasons. Which season Is better than the other? The cool breeze of autumn relieves you from the scorching sun of summer. The warmth of spring relieves you from the freezing cold of winter. In summer you love playing out door and in winter you have fun in snow. All seasons are interesting as they keep changing. Life will be meaningless and boring without challenges. Look at your own past. Every situation you thought as difficult had passed. Now they don't bother you. You may realize most of such situations were in fact opportunities not adverse situations. Periodical review of your own life in the past is a great way to understand your potential and take advantage of what is available in present. Change what you can, accept what you cannot. Pray the Lord to give you the strength to do the right thing at right time. All situations are to your advantage when you have the courage to face them.

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