Adversity is Your Unfair Advantage

“Adversity is my unfair advantage.”

This is a quote I heard from Blake Leeper, who is a Paralympian who was born without legs. I cannot get the quote out of my head.

A man who was born without legs sees that as an advantage. It was that adversity — those mental and physical scars — that made him stronger and inspired him.

We all have adversity. While we don’t necessarily have adversity quite at that scale, this is something we can learn from.

It’s the adversity, when overcome, that leads to clarity and inspiration. It provides purpose.

I’ve also seen that in business, I need some adversity. It was during times when things were too “easy” that I may have lacked that creativity and drive.

I faced the most adversity when my oldest son Michael was diagnosed with cancer many years ago (he’s fine now!). That experience for a young parent was difficult to describe. But it helped clarify what was and wasn’t important.

And I would also say that adversity is why I’m still running my own business. I was forced to do something different after getting laid off for a second time. It was extremely difficult, but it gave me focus and purpose.

Strangely, I feel I’ve returned to similar adversity during the past year. It hasn’t been easy. But in a way, that’s a good thing. I feel I’ve been more creative and inspired as a result.

Adversity is what makes us who we are. It’s ultimately what we think of as our life story. It may scar us, but it is often what separates us.

What do you think? Has adversity been your unfair advantage?