How to Take Adversity from A Pain in The @%# to a New Level of SUCCESS

lifeLast Saturday I was off to see one of my favourite movie characters and actors come to life again on the big screen as Jason Bourne. I was super excited. And then I got the call.

Rob is one of the Founders of The Practice yoga centre in Bali, that I am now a co-founder of, and he informed me that by chance he discovered that the neighbour planned to start building a 15m high, 2-storey accommodation block about 1m from our boundary, which will eventually block 50% of the view from one of our yoga studios. And he planned to start building immediately.

The landowner has a rather large block of land. He has no need to build 1m from our fence, and he was openly amused at the idea that his building, when finished would block out 50% of our view from one of our studios. Long story short. Not a nice or reasonable person and definitely not interested in us ‘working together’ so everyone benefits – like us guaranteeing him 100% occupancy rate for at least 4-6 months of the year as our preferred accommodation provider. 

So we were faced with the following scenario:

  1. A very ugly building building will be built next to us (our Balinese builder was saddened not only at the ugliness of the planned building, but at the loss of community spirit that is becoming the norm, and a disconnection from beauty).
  2. A building that would take 10-12 months to build and come with construction noise.
  3. A building that would block 50% of the view from one of the studios.
  4. An unreasonable, uncaring and unapproachable person in charge of the building.
  5. No warning and construction starting immediately (we had zero time to plan contingencies for something we knew would happen eventually).
  6. This is peak season in Bali.

Not good.
In fact, rather bad. And if I was a less conscious person I would have been ranting and saying things like: ‘a total disaster’ or ‘the worst thing ever’ or ‘what a mess’ or ‘we are totally screwed’ etc.

So the first lesson here for us was to get clear of the FACTS and the REALITY.

But even more importantly is to refrain from using highly emotive language, as this just activates a more powerful stress response, and leaves you with less mental faculties to deal with the current situation. Emotive language is completely useless, unless it is the positive flavoured variety. :)

An interesting side note: It is pretty bizarre that the last version of my Tips was about specifically dealing with problems and then ‘voila’! One week later and we get to see if I actually walk the talk ;-).

Lessons from Aikido

Aikido is a martial art that is all about using someone’s force against them.

In a book called Mastery by an Aikido master called George Leonard he talked about taking negative energy and converting it into a powerful active energy. Using it as the power to take you forward. You have probably done this yourself in the past with emotions like anger, which have caused you to act.

So in this case of dealing with a major disruptive event, it was time to convert any negative energy into powerful positive action.

An observation

One thing I have observed in myself is that I actually love to problem solve.
It is my thing. I do it all the time.

I am constantly asking myself how situations, people, events, businesses and the likes can be improved.
I love figuring stuff out, and I love setting myself the challenge of seeing whether we can make something even better than what it was before.

I am also better at creative solutions these days because I not only use my head. I bring into play my heart and my instinctive gut as well. When we align these three intelligences, the end result is inevitably better than just a head-based solution.

Getting creative

So in the last few days we have powered up our creativity.

We have got clear on the facts. Then we put our heads together (me, Rob, Octavio and Abi – our powerhouse operations manager and awesome fix-it guy) in order to come up with creative solutions. There is great benefit from the collective consciousness of a motivated team coming together for a common cause with a clear outcome in mind.

We are all creative and if we ask the right questions it is amazing what you and I are capable of.

The final result we will create at The Practice will be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!. There will be an amazing feature wall built, with a large water feature to let the sounds of nature flowing be the dominant sound. We will open up the second studio to look over a beautiful landscaped area about 800m sq. We will create an amazing oasis, with enough open space, greenery, natural sounds, and beauty, that the end result will be totally awesome!

Positive by-products

There is no doubts that something like this is a pain in the butt.
A HUGE pain in the butt. And it would be easy to crumble when faced with adversity. To bitch and moan about the injustices of life and how things were going so well, and why did this have to happen (us/me). That is often the easy path, but it invariably leads to even more pain.

The other path to take is to look at the positive by-products of the situation as soon as possible. For us, this is what I have identified:

  1. It has caused us to get even clearer of the bigger and longer term picture for the yoga centre
  2. It has caused us to come together more effectively as a focused team to face a common ‘enemy’ 😉
  3. It has caused us to turn up the volume on our creativity
  4. It has caused us to create an amazing future vision (and bring it into reality sooner)
  5. It has reminded us to remain vigilant and not get complacent

Apparently this is a stark reminder of a couple of things I said in the last newsletter:

Life Happens FOR YOU.

Life is your BUSINESS PARTNER IN SUCCESS

“Thanks Life, but next time can you at least give me a few weeks warning.” 😉

Parting words
Apparently we need challenges in order to grow. 😉

It is just a shame that the growth thing does not happen at a physical level too. I would love to be 6 foot (180cm) tall, so I can see better when I am at a concert.

Success in life is highly dependent on the choices we make. Do we choose to fixate our attention on the problem, or we do see the problem and then fixate our attention on the potential opportunities?

The difference is subtle (just a difference in where we focus our attention). But the end results are worlds apart.

Seems like my ‘problem’ of getting The Practice ONLINE (membership site) ready by 1 September was a small ‘problem’ in the bigger scheme of things. 😉

Have an awesome day and here’s to things in the future being even better than the past.

As always, please ask questions of me, or share your thoughts in a response email or by putting a post on Facebook.

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