Adversity is part of the plan! - Proteus Leadership | Leadership Article
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Adversity is part of the plan!

For the past six weeks I have been suffering debilitating pain from a ruptured disc in my back. For those who suffer a back condition, you will know exactly the type of pain that I am talking about.

Like everything that happens in my life, I always try to look for lessons I can learn and find a way to make something about myself better, but I must admit, pain makes it hard to think logically.

As hard as it can be sometimes, the universe says, “that’s enough, slow down, it’s time to reinvent, it’s time to reflect and take stock, and it’s time to look at what the future could be.

Many of you will have attended our recent breakfast series that we took around Australia where to get through the pain I was on some very strong drugs. The combination of drugs (legal) and the topic innovation made a great combination.

But seriously, as I stated in the series, if we don’t innovate we will die, but sometimes we have to stop long enough to make it happen.

So, what have I learned during this time of incapacity and reflection?

  •  Be thankful for what you have and nurture it – You don’t know what you have until something is taken away or impaired. Be thankful for what you have, especially your health.
  •  People must be ready to step up – You must have people that are ready and prepared to share the load and to take over responsibility, otherwise the stress will only exacerbate the problem.
  •  Use the time wisely – During this period I have restructured my business and created two new businesses that will help Proteus to have a sustainable and exciting future.
  •  Bounce back with new energy and direction – So, what will you do when everything is back to normal? Take advantage of the down time and prepare to be better than you were before.
  •  Stay positive – but also be real – Don’t display false positivity – be real! You are going through a tough time. Let people in and allow them to help. Demonstrate how adversity can be a good thing in their lives, if they are prepared to learn from it.

So, Optimistic Disturbers, what are you going through right now? What are the lessons that are on offer, and are you open to them, because if you are, then you will come out stronger and better than you were before?

Yes it is hard to accept that there is a good side to adversity, but Optimistic Disturbers not only believe that, they also actively look for what it is.

Keep getting disturbed, and I welcome all of your comments.

Des Penny – The Optimistic Disturber


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”

4 responses to “Adversity is part of the plan!”

  1. Judith Boskett says:

    So sorry to hear about your bad back. I suffered from debilitating back pain for many years so I know how you feel. Mine continued until I was formally diagnosed with depression and received appropriate medication. I haven’t had a bad back since which has been a marvellous benefit. It didn’t occur to me that I hadn’t suffered the back pain for quite some time after diagnosis but then I realised the two were linked and I’d killed two birds with one stone – happy days.
    I do hope that you find some relief from your back pain soon.
    Wishing you well.

    • Des Penny says:

      Hi Judith thanks for your comments. I am gradually getting over it and am on the mend. I am glad to hear that you are out of pain. I lifted too many things moving house but I am sure that stress certainly does not assist it. On good drugs now though. WooHoo!

      Cheers – Des

  2. Judith Boskett says:

    Hi Des, maybe I shouldn’t put my full name on my comment? What do you think? Judith

    • Des Penny says:

      Hey Judith. Leave your name there unless you don’t want people to know. I am a believer in putting it out there. You never know who is reading this and what triggers work for them. I am sure that there are people who will relate immediately.Thanks for being bold. Des

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