Jun 03, 2015 at 10:20 AM

NYT: "Two Ways to be Happy" - JC: Opportunity out of Adversity

By Jos� Cofi�o
NYT: "Two Ways to be Happy" - JC: Opportunity out of Adversity

Stanford friend, Tony Butler, yesterday shared on Facebook a NYT piece entitled "Two Ways To be Happy". The author references research from Wake Forest and Johns Hopkins designed to measure their levels of “primary control” — the ability to directly affect their circumstances — and “secondary control” — the ability to affect how they responded to those circumstances. They also measured how satisfied participants were with their lives.

The research showed that managing how you react to setbacks can make you feel better about life, maybe even more than avoiding those setbacks altogether. This is consistent with one of the epiphanies I have had over the last couple of years: Overcoming adversity is about how you deal with it and seeing the opportunities which, inevitably, arise from the challenge.

Look for Opportunities in Challenges

It is simply not enough to put on a strong front, to maintain a “stiff upper lip”, but to ACTIVELY deal with the situation and look for the new options which become available from it.

The fact that I am writing, and you are reading this serves as ample evidence. Before my diagnosis, I mused over my desire to write and practice public speaking, never really acting upon it. I now do both, as the disease has given me a reason for it. Ironically, I have found my voice from a circumstance which, quite literally, takes away the ability to speak.

Awareness is Essential

Contrary to the way we typically refer to opportunity “presenting itself,” it is not magic. That is, the opportunity will not simply appear out of thin air. It may seem to be a sudden manifestation, as though by divine intervention, but it is really a result of our own life experience and made obvious only if we are open to its existence. The opportunity is there… it is our awareness of it that is lacking.

Jose Cofino BeyondALS

José Cofiño is living with ALS, having been diagnosed in 2012. He and his partner, Ben Trust, founded BeyondALS to increase awareness about the disease and raise funds for research. He writes and speaks about overcoming adversity. He may be reached at j[email protected] and followed on Facebook at BeyondALS

Posted in Overcoming Adversity.

Jul 25, 2015 Arrow1 Down Reply

So good to read your blog posts! We share the same attitude: being positive! Stay strong, my friend...
Here is my own writing on the same topic of seeing adversity as an opportunity: http://alsandwellness.blogspot.com/2015/03/adversity-beliefs-consequences.html