As sure as the sun is going to rise, there are going to be storms of life—large and small. Our relationships, finances, health, and morality will all be put to the test at some point. These are the moments that build character. They show us who we truly are and give us clarity as to what we possess and lack. In sports, when a team is on the ropes and in trouble, the coach will instruct his players to get back to the basics. He will remind them to go back to the foundations of what made them successful. Sports mimic life in this way.
The key to surviving the storms of life is building a solid foundation capable of weathering even the mightiest blows. What does this foundation consist of? Here are 10 keys to surviving life’s storms.
The old saying “he folded like a cheap tent” refers to an obvious lack of personal discipline. As soon as times got tough, he was down for the count. If a person doesn’t have the willpower and mental toughness required to stay the course, then life is going to continually knock him over. Discipline is building block number one.
Leaders come in all sizes and shapes, but the one thing they all have in common is courage. At some point in life, they stood up with the odds stacked against them and held their ground. They did not shrink from the challenge. A husband and a father should be a great leader, and leadership starts with living courageously. So does survival.
In order to live a long life, it is good to be “young at heart.” However, this should not be confused with being immature and irresponsible. Society gives us no shortage of things to desire, many of them traps, and chasing those desires blindly will often lead a man to ruin. Maturity is required to do the right things that we know will keep our families protected and secure.
Regardless of our past histories, as fathers and husbands, our utmost responsibility is to our own families. We are called to love our wives properly and raise our children with strength, conviction, and moral fortitude.
“The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend” – Aristotle. Even in this age of social media when we are capable of connecting with great numbers of people, the reality of friendship still remains true. A man can count his true friends on one hand. Cherish and honor those relationships. Of all the resources we can draw upon when in need, our friends are the most valuable.
Confidence is a learned trait. Anyone can attain it with the right effort. Education breeds confidence and one should always “know thy enemy.” Meaning, that whatever your troubles may be, they can be defeated by learning everything you can about them. Once you are armed with the confidence knowledge brings, you’re much more likely to come out on top.
Morality is the line that you have personally designated that you will not cross. Where is your line? Have you justified and reasoned away so far that your line has nearly been erased? Many of our problems in life are brought on by ourselves. This is especially true in relationships. The good news is that if we are wise enough to look first at ourselves, then we can begin to go about the business of finding solutions.
Treat others with respect and you will be respected.
Jackie Robinson once said “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me, all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” Can you imagine the challenges he must have faced? Surely every item on this list lived inside Jackie Robinson. Yet, what was his only request? He wanted to be respected as a human being. That tells us all we need to know about the power of respect. Treat others with respect and you will be respected.
The only way to be great at something, including life, is through experience. When we are in the middle of a storm, we are gaining invaluable experience. We are learning what pain and heartache feel like. We are gaining insight into suffering. This not only helps us in future prevention, but it also builds inside of us compassion for those also feeling the same things. Compassion is a quality you will find lacking in the worst examples of humanity. To have it is to possess a great gift. Use it.
Do we believe in a greater purpose? Do we acknowledge in our hearts that we are moving towards something so grand that we are not yet meant to comprehend it? We are just to obey and trust it. Faith will see us through anything. “A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.” – Victor Hugo
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the hardest thing in life you have ever overcome?”