Adversity...it's not if but when

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Life often brings with it unforeseen events. Perhaps you've heard the saying "life is what happens when you have other plans". 

It's easy to appreciate the unexpected change if it's a better job, winning the lotto or a long awaited promotion. 

However, the unexpected often comes in the form of adversity. Whether the challenge is illness, family crisis, or an on-the job-problem, it's how we respond that ultimately allows us to press on with our lives and our important mission. 

You know what they say: "It's not what you go through, but how you go through it." 

Here are three practical tips I have used to overcome adversity: 

 First, don't mentally over exaggerate problems and put things in perspective. Think realistically about what may happen, and what you will do in response. Seek a trusted friend, co-worker or supervisor if you need help. 

 Next, participate in stress-reducing activities that are not self-destructive. Hit the gym, not the bottle. Endorphins really do help your mood. Consider doing something nice for some else. It may help you as much as it helps them. 

 Finally, if the adversity was self inflicted, learn from your mistake, and move on. Who knows, you may be able to someday look back and laugh at your situation. 

Adversity is a normal aspect of all our lives. There will always be factors beyond your control, but you can always control yourself and your attitude.