Good morning everyone, welcome to my Monday Huddle! I hope everyone had a great father’s day yesterday. Today my topic is based on a book I have read recently, it’s called Adversity Quotient, in short, AQ.
The reason that I have chosen this topic is that, we can all feel that the world we’re living in today has become more uncertain, more challenging and more difficult to deal with. While different people have different views or experiences about it, somehow we are all asking the question: When can we get back to normal?
But maybe we need to start thinking, what if it is going to be the new norm? What if lockdown is going to happen multiple times in the next 5 years, and how are we going to deal with the situation in the best way?
We’re certainly very used to the pre-pandemic lifestyle (that’s why we want to go back), but are we ready to face the new challenges in the post-pandemic world? If we look around, we can easily see people who are less prepared than the others and not willing to adapt to or accept the new norm, right?
To tell you the truth, one of the biggest lessons that I have learned in my life is that - life is not supposed to be easy, instead, it is guaranteed to have tough moments and painful lessons, and all you can do is to accept that this is normal, and forget about living an easy life without worry and pressure.
So how exactly are we going to survive and thrive in today’s world? What type of person can do well? The author has categorized people into 3 buckets, the quitters are the ones who always give up when encountering something difficult, in the analogy of mountain climbing, they are the people who never start climbing because the mountain is too high.
Campers are better, they have started climbing and then they find a comfortable place to rest, some of them will never continue climbing because they are settled down and are not interested in seeing different scenery.
The last type is the climbers, climbers are the ones who are always ready for the new challenges and keep moving forward, the key difference between these types of people is their attitude towards adversities.
The good news is that, AQ is not something we’re born with, it can be improved with a systematic approach called the L.E.A.D method, so let’s take a look at how it works together.
L stands for Listen to your reaction, when you fail to do something or you have run into some trouble, you should start observing your unconscious reaction, most of us will say “Oh no, why is this happening, I don’t want to do this”, which is completely understandable.
However, the author suggested that we need to be excited about adversities, we need to train our brain to like it, and the easiest way to do it is to change our reaction from “Oh no” to “Wow”!
For example, if you are playing a game and you are level 1, you usually defeat a boss that is a bit above your level and gain some exp points to level up. Once you reached a higher level, you would expect yourself to face a different boss, a higher level one and more difficult to defeat, and players usually get excited about these bosses because they know they are going to be rewarded after defeating it, maybe a piece of fancy equipment, maybe some gold, maybe more exp to level up. In short, players get excited when they are facing game challenges.
Now if you can transfer the same attitude from the gaming world to your real life, when you encounter a new difficult situation, you can try to be excited about it! Because you are definitely going to gain something from this experience and that’s your reward! Think about it in this way, if there are no challenges, you will stay on your current level and you’ll not be able to grow fast.
E stands for Explore the Situation, which is basically about trying to understand why this happens and what’s your role in this adversity, maybe you are the owner of it, maybe you partially own it, maybe it’s not relevant to you at all but your friend needs your help. In any of the cases, once you have identified your ownership of the situation, you should accept it and move to the next step.
The third step is to analyse the evidence, well, we all know it is a tough situation right? But do you really understand how tough it is? Maybe you are assuming the worst scenario but it’s very unlikely to happen. It could be less risky or dangerous than you have imagined in your mind, and sometimes you may have underestimated the impact of it. In this step, you gather information and come up with strategies to deal with the adversity.
Then D stands for Do Something, you might have a great positive attitude, you might have clearly defined your ownership and responsibilities, and you have done your evidence analysis, and now it’s the time to take action. Remember, if you don’t do anything, you are not a climber, because the mountain doesn’t climb by itself, you need to pack your bag and start your journey, maybe you will gather more information along the way and need to change your plan a bit, but that’s normal, the most important thing is about to keep climbing and looking forward.
And of course, keep climbing is easier said than done, because life is long and we all feel lazy now and then, maybe you are acting as a quitter or a camper in some stages but as long as you climb as much as you can, you will be rewarded. We just need to keep an eye on our AQ and remind ourselves about the opportunities lying behind challenges whenever we feel like quitting. All types of people will fail many times in their life, and what separates the climbers apart from the others is that even they fail, they tend to fail forward, no matter how life is treating them or how terribly they fail, they will always get up and become stronger than yesterday.
We need to not only learn how to succeed but also learn how to fail because although everyone would fail, some people are failing forward and it’s a crucial skill to work on.
Lastly, I think every tough situation can be a wonderful story, just think about the great movies you’ve watched or an interesting book you’ve read, if there are no challenges, it’s going to be boring. So whenever I face a new challenge, I will imagine myself as a writer, sitting down and opening the first page, the first page is not a sweet story, but I own the pen and I’ll be the one writing the remaining pages of the book. When I look back, I want to make sure that I’ve written a wonderful story that I can share with my grandkids when I’m old. And I truly believe that everyone is coming to the earth as a traveler, and as a traveler, we want to experience as much as we can and truly discover our potentials.
That’s all I want to share with you guys today, thanks for listening, and hopefully, you find it useful!