Recently, someone sent me an email saying that his life was full of problems. Everytime he solved a problem, a new one would emerge. 'Why can't goals be easy to achieve?' 'Why can't things go exatcly the way I planned?' 'Why is it that everytime I want to acheieve something, something will always go wrong?' 'Why Must Life be Filled with Adversities?' He then went on to complain that he was not as lucky as other people around him. 'Adam, you are so lucky that everything is going your way, you don't seem to have any problems!' Well, if you feel the way this guy does.
Then I have some rather shocking news for you! Everybody experiences problems and adversities EVERYDAY of their life! So, you are not alone. In fact, if you think that you have got problems, there are many people out there who have got even bigger problems and they would glady give an arm and a leg to have your petty problems. Think of the poor maid who was featured on the Straits Times who lost her entire family (her children, husband and parents included) during the Indonesian earthquake. Kind of puts our life into perspective huh? Many people think that with wealth and success, problems all go away, and life is carefree. Well, I have got more news.
The more successful you are, the bigger your problems! Many people may not know this, but I got bigger problems that most people ever think! In fact, I believe that if I would let anyone live my life for a week, they would probaly collapse form the sheer extreme stress and demands! Imagine, having filling the expectation to inspire and change the lives of over 4,300 people over 43 audiences from 4 countries in the last 30 days. Memorizing 150 hours of speeches and at the same having to worry about over $400,000 of fixed costs and about 70 staff at the same time, all having their own set of problems that I need to solve for them. Not to mention, answering 30+ emails a day to people with probems ranging from relationship breakdowns to business problems. I dealt with this in the last month alone. But hey! I am not complaining. I believe that Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and George Bush have got problems 100x worse that mine every single day.
This is why I believe that before life would allow anyone to become more sucessful, you must first prove that you can handle problems at your current level first. If not, life will not allow you to advance to the next stage! So, everyone has problems. The more successful you are, the bigger they are! The only people without any problems are those lying in the graveyard! Some people ask me why life must be full of adversities. Why can't things come easily? Well, think abut it this way. Imagine if you watched a movie like Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings and in the entire 3 hour movie, there were no bad guys, no problems and no sad or frightening moments.
Would you enjoy the show? No! You would probaly be bored to death and fall asleep! Imagine if Frodo took a beautiful stroll through middle earth with all the fairies smiling along the way and the birds singing. I doubt he would have felt the joy and pride of completing his journey! So, you see, if goals were not tough to achieve with problems along the way, it would not feel good achieving it in the first place. The only reason why we feel good and proud about getting someting is precisely because achieving it took so much sweat and tears! I have another theory. I believe that adversity and setbacks are there to teach us certain lessons that we need to learn in order to be able to have the wisdom to move to the next level of success! Also, the greatest opportunities always come disguised as problems! They never seem like opportunities at all. When people complain that they have no opportunities in life, it is becasue they never saw the opportunity that lay disguised within their problems and so they chose instead to run away and hide from their problems, thereby never finding out the truth.
In other words, everything bad happens for a specific reason. It is there to teach us lessons, mould our character and give us an opportunity. Let me give you an example for my life. When I was in Primary school, I went through lots of problems. I was lazy, unmotivated and hated to study.
I had low self esteem and mixed around with the wrong group of friends. My parents' divorce also affected my lack of desire to do well. As a result, I ended up in lots of trouble and was expelled from St. Stephens School when I was in primary 3 (aged 9). When I got into Ngee Ann Primary after half a year of missing school, I could not catch up and as a result, did badly for my PSLE and was rejected from all 6 secomday schools of my choice. Instead, I was posted to a neighbourhood school called Ping Yi that was not ranked very high at that time.
It was because of the fact that my life was in the pits that I was forced to learn NLP and accelerated learning techniques to turn my whole life around (out of sheer desperation). After applying what I had learnt, I topped my schools for the O levels with 8 points (L1R5) and made it into VJC where I scored straight As for A levels. I then went into NUS (business Admin) where I ranked among the top one percent of the cohort and was in the Deans List every year.
Because of my meteoric rise from the bottom of the educational system to to the every top, I wrote my book 'I Am Gifted, So Are You!' that became an instant best-seller as it told the inspiring story of how a stupid moron like me (from a neighbourhood school) could be one of the top students in NUS. I then started my 'now famous' training program inspiring both students and adults to succeed, which earned me my first million by age 26 and many more milions after that. Here is my very important point that I always pondered on. If I had not lived such a screwed up life at the beginning and did not have all that adversity, then I would not have learnt NLP! If I did not learn NLP at age 13, then I would never have learnt all the powerful strategies that allowed me to become so super successful today! I would have grown up to be just another ordinary average person. Indeed, it was a blessing in disguise.
Also, imagine if I had done very well in Primary school and HAD NO learning and behavioural problems. then, I may have done very well for my PSLE , scored 4A stars and gone to Raffles Institution (RI). If I had gone to RI, RJC and NUS, then I would not have the inspiring story of IDIOT To GENIUS to tell! My story will no longer be sexy and I could not have written the book 'I Am Gifted, So Are You' to inspire other lousy students like myself. Since I was good all the way, I could probably only write the book 'I Am Gifted, So Too Bad to You'! So again, everything happens for a reason.
I also realized that the main reason why I am so good at motivating lousy students and under-achieving people is because I used to be like that. Therefore, I can understand and connect with lousy students and turn them around so well. If I had been a super studtent from Raffles Institution all the way, then I may not have the ability to help all these students the way I do today, since I cannot understand the problems they face and how they feel. The lesson I want to share is this.
Embrace your problems and adversities in life! They are there for a purpose. Use them to learn lessons and as opportunties that will help you to achieve all the success in your life. Some people may ask, 'then why do some people keep facing problems after problems and go aroud in circles never ever succeeding?' The answer is because they have not yet learnt the lesson they are supposed to from the adversity but are instead giving excuses, blamig, complaining and running away.
I believe that as long as you don't learn the lessons that your problems are there to teach, they will keep on coming until the day you do. The very tragic thing is that many people live throughout their lives and die never ever learning the lesson.
Adam Khoo is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and a self-made millionaire by the age of 26 and a multi-millionaire today. Discover the inside secrets to how a multi-millionaire runs his life and makes his money at www.adam-khoo.com