Reframing Adversity as a Challenge to Act in Alignment with Your Values

The science is unequivocal: when we change the way we look at a stressful situation, it not only changes the situation itself, it also changes the way we feel about it, and even the way we sense it.

No one understood this better than Viktor Frankl.

In his famous holocaust memoir Man’s Search for Meaning, which has now sold over 16 million copies worldwide, three startling words surface repeatedly: “test,” “challenge” and “opportunity.”

Why do they show up so often?

Because they succinctly capture how Frankl chose to view his horrifying circumstances.

Out of all the unfathomable experiences he endured…

The Art of Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Let’s play a little game.

Check out this picture and tell me what symbol you see.

Now look again and tell me what number you see.

What body parts?

What we’re looking at remains exactly the same, but when we change what we’re looking for, we see very different things.

A kid who loves baseball might see a pitch as an opportunity for a home run and feel excited. But after that same kid gets beaned by a wild fast ball they might see a pitch as something to be afraid of and refuse to step up to the plate.

By Seth Shugar

One of the most fascinating things about the Netflix hit The Last Dance is the bright light it shines on the origins of the celebrated drive that propelled Michael Jordan to become one of the greatest basketball players, if not one of the greatest athletes, of all time.

When MJ was at the height of his powers, the novelist Scott Turow expressed what almost everyone was marvelling at: “Michael Jordan plays basketball better than anyone else in the world does anything else.” The man had it all: talent, genes, intelligence, focus, work ethic, poise, looks, charisma, style…

Seth Shugar

Therapist, Professor and Writer. Contact at

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