It is not fair when things are not fair. Don’t you hate it when things are going along smoothly, and “Unfair” arrives and consumes your thoughts, actions, and enthusiasm. It tests your ability to move forward. “Unfair” is not fair, so why does it show up? I don’t know, but you have a choice when “Unfair” arrives – fight the change or guide the change.

In a recent meeting, the topic of adversity was discussed. Within that group, people had faced a major crisis that was unfair.  Major events like cancer, suicide, divorce, loss of children, drug abuse, loss of spouse, significant health issues, loss of jobs, and bankruptcy. Remarkably, every person agreed that overcoming their unfair adversity was a critical turning point toward their future success. Think about that. “Unfair” guided them toward success. Regardless of how or why “Unfair” arrived, those successful people took action, attacked, and learned from the event that “Unfair” struck them. In fact, “Unfair” polished them up to become better people.

Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most amazing people in our lifetime. He is a mountain climber who has climbed the highest peak on every continent. You may think that is impressive but not a big deal. You may rationalize that anyone who has the time and money could accomplish that feat … although very few have. The big deal is that Erik is blind. His vision was gone at age 13. If anyone could bow to “Unfair” and justify feeling sorry for himself, Erik could. But he doesn’t. He says, ‘What is within you is stronger than what is in your way.’ That is a great lesson from someone who faces “Unfair” every day.

Spending your energy complaining, justifying, and blaming others changes nothing and allows “Unfair” to take over your life. A tendency while facing “Unfair” is to shift into neutral and stop moving forward – a power that “Unfair” can have over you. You become paralyzed and fight the reality of the change instead of facing and guiding the change toward a positive direction. Regardless of how bleak your situation appears, you can keep moving.

Years ago, I heard someone say, ‘Something can be done, and there is something I can do.’ Something can be done; whatever hole you are in is not permanent, something can be done right now. And, there is something you can do; the next move is always yours.

Life is not fair, so don’t expect it to be. It doesn’t do any good to blame a bad economy, bad boss, bad luck, or poor choices. “Unfair” is temporary. The next move is yours to take. You can navigate a positive path through it and move forward with your life.

Here are a few points to ponder as you shift from fighting change to guiding change:

  1. What will your response be when “Unfair” hits you?
  2. No matter how bleak your situation may seem, the next move is yours.
  3. Are there people in your circle who could use some encouragement from you right now? Encouragement could be your best gift of the day.

Based on the book LeaderShift … Making leadership everyone’s business.

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