“So much of the development of mental strength flows from our ability to normalize adversity.”

“So much of the development of mental strength flows from our ability to normalize adversity.”

Rohan Rajiv, Author of A Learning a Day Blog

Image from Unsplash by Aziz Acharki

Over the years writing this blog I’ve reference a book titled The Power of Full Engagement numerous times.

A key premise of its content is to expand one’s ability to increase their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies.

Consider replacing the word energy with strength.

Where are you experiencing adversity in your life?

How are you being challenged and tested in your personal and professional pursuits?

Where are you feeling resistance and a sense of being stretched beyond what’s comfortable?

How do these situations actually increasing your overall strength, capacities, and resilience?


Read or re-read The Power of Full Engagement. Consider how normalizing adversity has actually supported your growth and development.

Feel free to reply to this post with some examples from your own life.

Deep roots are not reached by the frost

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of The Rings

Image from Unsplash by Ross Stone

Over the last month, much attention has focused on the many wildfires in Canada and their significant impact on the air quality in many North American cities.

Canada has 28% of the world’s Boreal Zones, which represents 552 million hectares (a hectare is about 2.5 acres or 10,000 square meters). About 75% of this area is forest and woodlands.

Forest fires have a renewal capacity to keep these relatively young forests spanning the earth in other countries including the United States, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and China.

Some additional good news to counter the carbon releasing aspects of these fires is that their roots go deep enough to keep these trees alive through the often-bitter cold winters experienced in these regions. Many bird species and animals—such as caribou—count on this deeply rooted ecosystem to thrive.


Where in your life are you deeply rooted?

How does this capacity help you survive and thrive during the burning and frigid aspects of life?

Role models and mentors are flesh and blood representations of what is possible for you

Role models and mentors are flesh and blood representations of what is possible for you. If they did what they did, you can too.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Eunice De Guzman

In the world of achievement there are plenty of examples of people who have been there and done that. We often view and imbue these people with super-human powers and abilities, and see ourselves as frail and flawed.

When we see people this way, we are almost always missing the full picture.

These individuals stumble and fall like the rest of us. They bleed, they have wounds and scars that often go hidden. What many of them do better and more often is pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go at it again and again.


Interview some of the role models and mentors you’ve had over the years. Pay particular attention to how they managed various types of adversity to become the people you’ve come to respect and admire.

“Show me someone who has done …”

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”

—Lou Holtz, retired American football player, coach, and active sportscaster

Photo from Flickr by twiga269

Photo from Flickr by twiga269

Think about the greatest accomplishments of your life. If you can, arrange them chronologically, from the achievements of your childhood to those of the present day. Which moments brought you the most joy and fulfillment?  Now consider the struggles and challenges you faced, and the effort it took to make your goals real.

In this quote, Holtz is giving us a bit of coaching to follow this practice as we tackle each of our days ahead.


What adverse conditions or situations are you facing at this moment? What is it worth to you to overcome these adversities in order to reach your most cherished professional or personal goals? How will you summon the personal courage and support of those around you to achieve your desires?

#54: “Remember to pick something up when you fall.”

– Unknown

We have all heard that experience is the best teacher. Many experiences do not provide us with success on the first attempt. Consider a baby trying to take its first steps, a child learning to read a book or ride a bike, a new leader speaking in public to a large group, learning a new language … the list goes on and on.

Have a “beginner’s mind” and a hunger for the lesson: this offers us the opportunity for value even in adversity.


Where did you fall down today, this week, this month? And what did you pick up when you stumbled?

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Kites rise highest against the wind not with it

“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”

– Winston Churchill

Image of two kites in the air

Image from Unsplash by Bill Fairs

Life is stress. Life is adversity. Life has its challenges. Life has its potholes, its storms, even just its cloudy days.

As you take on these obstacles and challenges, how can you rise and find peace, smooth travels, and sunny days?

To find the grace and blessing life has to offer, we need to meet each day with our very best.


What challenges, obstacles and barriers are you dealing with today? How will you rise to these challenges and let your life soar?