This I believe, every struggle also represents an opportunity to grow. Besides of getting picked on and outright bullied in school and apprenticeship I grew up with two alcoholic parents in the household. By the time I was 16 years old Dad got us into debt enough not to be able to afford heating oil for two years. His constant violent mental psycho terror caused a lot of uncertainty and stress especially for my sister and mom. When I turned 22 my mom had had enough, and I helped her divorce him and I got to literally kick him out of our house.
Those were the worst times and also the best times. We made do with what we had. My mom, sister, grandparents, and I got a lot closer and we fixed what we could not replace or afford to buy new. We got fire wood so that we could have heat at home and have hot water. We grew veggies at home and back then we even slaughtered pigs at home making sausages and canning meat to be almost self-sufficient. Did I wish at the time things could have been different? Oh yes. I sent off many unanswered prayers in those years towards heaven.
All the sorrows, challenges, and misery also came with opportunities that would change my life forever:
- There were long hours at home wondering in what kind of mood my parents would be coming home with, or what might happen at any given moment of their unpredictable behavior. It made me very sensitive and empathetic toward other people. I can more easily meet people at eye level.
- I can fix just about anything on house, yard, electronics, and vehicles with wheels.
- It made me very humble and grateful for any good person and opportunity that would come into my life. Everything that I ever wanted in life I already have – getting more of everything offers no additional value. Money is not to be pursued, it is attracted to whom you have become.
- It made me realize that my only escape was to grow personally and professionally. I used many opportunities that came along and mastered new skills, abilities, and connected with many new people. One person attracted to you for whom you have become can change your life forever.
- It made me realize that I have the moral obligation to become the best person that I can be.
- I learned that it is my duty to give back by providing opportunities for others. I have the moral obligation to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
- Finally, I learned the power of forgiveness. Because I was bitter and I did not want to be like my dad I had become the 180 degree copy and thus just as bad a person. My life turned around for the better once I forgave my dad and started to live my own genuine life.
I most certainly did not need and want the challenges early in my life. This I believe, those very challenges let me flourish in life and now are the driver helping provide opportunities for other folks to flourish as well.
PS: Here is a video about how to provide opportunities for GenZ and Millennials in the workplace that will also engage all the other generations.