Today, I want to look at the silver lining lessons. This means the advantage that comes from a difficult or unpleasant situation according to the Cambridge English dictionary. The Britannica dictionary says silver lining is something good that can be found in a bad situation. The complete use of this phrase is in the sentence, every cloud has a silver lining. This could mean every situation holds the possibility of something good.
However, this note will look at the silver lining lessons. In it I will share a few stories of people who experienced seemingly negative and sometimes a harrowing situation in their lives but managed to turn it in their favor to life changing and a positive ending. In writing this note, I want to change the attitude of people who are in the habit of always looking at the dark side of life. To win in life and achieve lofty heights you must develop the right perspective, optimism and always look for a silver lining in a every experience you meet in your journey through life.
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SILVER LINING LESSONS- STORIES OF GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS
Pete Cashmore is the first story we would be looking at in the silver lining lessons. Pete story meets our criteria to be listed here. This is because of the circumstances that led him to discover he had something to offer to the world after being hospitalized and always in and out of the hospital due to complications from an operation he had all the time in the, with the internet being his only companion. He had since stop going to the Banchory Academy where he attended high school. Being sickly at home in bed he found solace in the internet and discovered the opportunities that are abound online. Pete started Mashable from out of his bedroom when he was 19. Before starting Mashable, he did some consulting gigs and it was the fascination and discovery of a need and the dearth of information about how to use Social media for business and the tech world that led him to becoming a tech entrepreneur in 2005. Many people in Pete’s condition would have given up and accepted the unpalatable dish dished out to them by life, and given his condition he would have attracted sympathy from the world. However, lying in bed, he recognized the silver lining in the dark cloud in form of the internet and because he had no time for self- pity, he grabbed the opportunities. After running Mashable for 17 years, he grew the website to 40 million monthly readers and making it the top websites in the US and the world. He sold it to Ziff Davis Inc. for 50 million dollars in 2017.
In an interview this was what he has to say ‘’Not only did I have no connection; I wasn’t in the valley (Silicon Valley). But I did have an outside perspective, and as it turned out that was an advantage because there’s a mass market that want to know what the coolest gadgets are and how to use Facebook and Twitter to get ahead’’.
He grew up in Banchory Aberdeen Scotland. He has received panoply of awards including Inc’s 30 under 30, Forbes 25 Web Celebs, the Huffington post’s top game changers 2009, Time 100 most influential people in the world, Fast company most creative people and Forbes 30 under 30.
LESSONS: There are opportunities everywhere even in the negative situation. Without the right perspective you won’t see them.
Dan Ariely wasn’t supposed to be alive. But God gave him another at life. He was almost killed at a graduation ceremony when a flair which was mistakenly lighted exploded inches away from where he was standing. The incident left him with scars all over his body, damaging part of his face. ‘’The fire nearly killed me writes Ariely, about 70% of my body was covered in third degree burns’’. What would have ended up as a disaster for him became a blessing and inspired his life’s work of studying human behavior. He spent three years in the hospital and went through some of the toughest painful periods. He writes ‘’since I had little else to do and badly needed distraction, I began to notice and record things’’ In particular, he started to wonder about the way the nurses handled the bandages that covered most of his body. ‘’ Every day I had to have a soaking bath that involved removing my bandages and scrapping off my dead skin and flesh. The nurses would rip off the dressing all at once without a break. It was excruciating, but the nurses insisted that tearing the bandages off was the best way’’. However, many years later, Dan conducted a research around the theory by the nurses and found the opposite to be true. This inspired his life and work. He is a renowned Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics in Duke University. In his writing titled ‘’Painful lessons’’ he described his hospitalization and treatment detailing how that experience led to his research on how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatment to patients.
Dan Ariely is the author of several books including Predictable Irrational, The upside of irrationality, and the Honest truth about dishonesty.
LESSONS: Every adversity contains the seed of equal and opposite blessings.
Read also: How to bear the burden of life challenges
James Altucher is a serial entrepreneur and failure who started 20 businesses and failed at 17 of them. He eventually succeeded in one of those businesses. Reset Inc. the software company was later sold for 15 million dollars in 2000. The euphoria that followed the sale of the company lasted for 2 years as he went dead broke and went back to where he began. He lost all those money to bad investment decisions and the compulsion to gamble. Again, after playing with different ideas he landed a winner when he started Stockpickr, a website and forum about stock market investment. This website was profitable from day one, as Time magazine named it 50 best websites of 2007. Thestreet.com acquired Stockpickr for 10 million dollars. You would think James has learned lessons from the first experience, but he never did. He lost all this money and went homeless and even tried to kill himself. During this time, he would go to several clubs and parks in New York to play poker, Backgammon and Chess with other homeless people. Then at night he would sleep at the park benches. After sometime of living in the rot, he caught himself before he would completely destroy his life, and he started dreaming again, brainstorming ideas, and reaching out to people who could help. He started doing the daily practice. You can read about this post, how to be the luckiest guy on the planet in 4 steps to learn about how he bounced back from his failures. The daily practice got him back to the top. He started writing books like his bestseller ‘’choose yourself’’, the ‘’Power of No’’ among others and started a blog as well as the James Altucher Podcast. His life turned around, this time around he is more careful to make the mistakes that got him in the mud in 2002 and 2010. He has since become an angel investor investing in several seed rounds and sit on the board of a handful of startup companies.
LESSONS: No matter how many times you fail you can rise up and be successful in life
JOSEPH THE VICEROY OF EGYPT
The story of Joseph in the Christian Bible is an interesting once, hence it is listed here among the silver lining lessons. This is because the story has a lot of silver lining running across the many dark clouds that Joseph contended with. His brothers out of jealousy sold him into slavery to a Caravan from Egypt. This was the beginning of several dark clouds that would characterize Joseph’s life. In Egypt he was bought by the Potiphar who was the Captain of the king’s Army. Potiphar found joy in the hard work of Joseph and he promoted him the head of his Estate. However, it’s a know fact that when you are destined for greatness the bigger the obstacle you will have to overcome. This time it was Potiphar’s wife who was used by the forces of change. She fell in love with Joseph and wanted him to have canal knowledge with her. He kept rebuffing her move, until one day Joseph went into the house to perform his duties as usual, she got hold of him and try to use force to get him to lay with her. Joseph ran leaving his garment with her. This move by him angered her and with the garment as evidence she told her husband that the Hebrew slave, he brought into the house try to have canal knowledge of her by force. Again, Joseph witnessed a dark cloud moment when Potiphar ordered his incarceration. While in the dungeon, Pharaoh the king of Egypt imprisoned two of his servants, the Butler and the Baker. The duo had a dream in one night and was greatly worried about this dream. When Joseph saw how worried they are he enquire about what troubled them. Both told him about the dream they had and they were worried because they couldn’t understand what it meant. He interpreted the dream to each man according to his dream and told them that in three days the Butler would be reinstated to his position why the Baker wound be hanged. This dream came to pass as joseph interpreted. He would remain in the prison for another two years when a silver lining appeared again. Pharaoh had a dream which no one in Egypt could interpret including the magicians, wisemen, sorcerers and the Astrologers. Pharaoh’s prophetic dream which had to do with seven prosperous years followed by seven lean years of famine troubled the king. The Butler, the former inmate with Joseph remembered a man who interpreted dreams that he met in the prison. The king ordered that the dream interpreter be brought to him immediately. When Joseph was brought before Pharaoh he listened to the dream and gave the most appropriate interpretation to pharaoh who was impressed and made him the Governor of Egypt to oversee the years of surplus and years of famine that is to befell the land.
In the story of Joseph, you would find that the more problems you can solve the greater responsibilities you are entrusted to handle.
LESSONS: Before you can get pure gold. It must pass through the heat of the furnace. If you want greatness in life you must be prepared to overcome the challenges of life
Daymond John is the Co-founder of FUBU (for us by us) and a member of the ABC popular tv show, Shark Tank. His company has a valuation of over 6 billion dollars and the brand is popular all over the world especially among lovers of hip hop. His story was not as simple as it sounds though. It is a grass to grace one. He grew up with his single mom in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens New York as life was hard for both of them. After high school there was no money to proceed to college, he had to go work to help himself and his mother with feeding and rent. At this time, a new trend in the music world was springing up in the United states. Hip hop was catching fire and everyone want to become a part of it. Musicians and their fans dressed in a certain way which was like a fad. Timberland who was building the apparels and accessories decided to place a band on its clothes on certain class of people which John was among. This move led to a silent revolt and force John and his friends to start making clothes for the teeming hip hop fans. In the early days of FUBU, he and his mom would stay up all night to sew the apparels, then in the morning he would peddle them in the streets of New York to sell. FUBU soon became a household name when musicians and celebrities started using the brand in their music videos. FUBU and Daymond John with his Co-founders found success from the lowly beginnings when they would shovel snow in the Airport and New York streets for a daily pay.
LESSONS: Learn to spot trends and when you find one make haste in its execution.
I hope you find the lessons in the featured stories worthwhile. I would like to hear your opinion and thought in the comments.
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