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Exploring the Unexpected Benefits of any life change or adversity

Life can and will change for good or bad: not just bad life changes but also good ones. No matter what those are, they are extremely hard. They result in a new normal, and it alters our trajectory and requires successful adaptation. While adjusting to a new life which you did not choose is tough, however there always unexpected benefits one has from these life changes. The key is to explore them. For me, as my world changed dramatically due to the several life changes and adversities, I faced over the last 4 years, no matter how hard or sad they were, there were some unexpected benefits I realized from them. Due to my circumstances, I started to cook by myself a little – before my stroke I hardly cooked at all. Also, I got into a regular habit of consistent workouts and healthy eating as I needed to do it for my healing – before my stroke, like many I struggled doing it consistently. Doing yoga was absolutely an unexpected benefit – before my stroke I had shunned it for whatever reason. The other unexpected benefits were, I started to read more books (in my case listening to audio books) - before my stroke I barely read one book in 2 years, now I do one book in 2-3 months and I got into the habit of writing a daily journal which helped me find and express positivity and gratitude. Yes, my world had totally turned upside down, and I could have easily gone being depressed path and would have easily thought there were no positive things that would have happened to me. But I was able to look and explore the many unexpected benefits listed above.

Similarly, no matter what life change or adversity one faces, there are invariably unexpected benefits from it. As an example, as hard as the pandemic has been for all of us and due to the lock-downs and economic meltdown due to the pandemic, life for many across the world has changed drastically – personally and professionally, there are some unexpected benefits to the world from it. Many folks around the world started to cook more at home, pollution levels reduced, awareness of better hygiene increased, time spent with families increased and the sense of community to connect, communicate, and collaborate with friends and colleagues increased even though it was through remote audio and video technologies. The recent social injustice protests in the US, have increased the awareness of ugly racism, not just in the US but worldwide, and there is a general feeling and call for action to do something about this issue. Now it is up to each one of us to sustain these gains for as many people as possible. We are all in this together.


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