There are no mistakes: everything – even bumps in the road – provides a lesson that’s necessary for us to evolve, and to get wherever it is we need to be.
Challenges push us to get stronger and also show us how strong we had to be to overcome them. In his book Leave No Doubt, Mike Babcock had an interesting view about the benefits of taking the more challenging road rather than the easy one after Canada lost game 3 in the 2010 Olympics to the USA:
Conventional wisdom says that by losing to the United States, we made it more difficult for ourselves. I don’t agree with that. True, we had to play more games to get the gold. But the truth is, we needed to play more games to hit our stride and find our rhythm as a team.
I’m not sure if he would have had that insight in the moment, but looking back, we can often see that the challenges we have been through have helped us to grow. Maybe you’re starting out at the bottom of the ladder in a new job and have to do a lot of the grunge work, but there are benefits to having that experience when you move higher up. Maybe you have had an experience that has taught you what you don’t want, or how you have to adapt to reach your goal. It might be hard to see in the moment, but every experience can teach us a lesson if that’s how we choose to look at it.
Game Plan: When you hit a bump, instead of getting down on yourself, try to apply some of that insight in the moment and know that whatever challenges you are going through are helping you to grow. A lot of the time we don’t even know why or how they will help us, but it’s just about having faith that God will be able to strengthen us and help us get through.