Turn Setbacks Into Comebacks

Turn Setbacks Into Comebacks

After a whirlwind book/speaking tour of the USA, it’s great to be home in Australia and over my jet-lag (sort of). As busy as my trip was, it was incredibly rewarding speak at the United Nations Foundation and at several other events including my first ever trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Gorgeous place – shame I was only there about 18 hours!

One of the themes that continually comes up as I speak around the globe is how to be more resilient. Needless to say, resilience is absolutely crucial if you want to cope with the pressures of our busy lives and thrive in your work and life. While there are numerous ways to build your innate resilience, one of the most important things is accepting that life is full of setbacks and that anything… a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g… worth doing will have its fair share.

Life is full of setbacks and anything worth doing will have its fair share.

Just ask anyone who’s done anything worthwhile!

I recently sat down with Justine Flynn, co-founder of ThankYou water, a social enterprise built from the passion to help give people in the developing world access to the clean drinking water you and I can easily take for granted (ThankYou has since extended its mission to providing food aid, hygiene and sanitation programs). During our conversation, Justine shared how their first shipment of bottled water had faulty labels. After over a year of long days and hard work, it felt so cruel that their first ever water bottles had to be sent back as retailers wouldn’t stock them.

While Justine’s experience is unique, I know all too well how crushing it can feel when plans fall apart, people let us down and our hard work isn’t rewarded. But here’s the deal – it’s in overcoming the setbacks, disappointments and difficulties that you come to truly value success and grow as a human being.

So whatever goals you want to pursue or changes you want to make, expect setbacks but never let them keep you from moving forward. As I wrote in Brave, “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” Likewise, mastery of life is not the absence of problems; it’s mastery of them.

Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.

When you embrace challenges and setbacks as par for the course of living a meaningful life, it helps you meet them more constructively, bounce back more quickly and live life more bravely.

It also enables you to do some pretty amazing things! Today, 300,000 people in 14 developing countries have access to clean water, hygiene, food aid and sanitation that they wouldn’t have had otherwise thanks to the work of ThankYou.

So let me ask you, how would you approach your current problems differently if you embraced them as nothing more than stepping-stones to genuine success?