The strongest creatives and business owners don't wait for perfect timing, inspiration or conditions, but are constantly moving forward based on their habits. One of the smartest skills you can learn is turning a perceived loss into a win. This so-called "reverse clause" goes back to philosopher Marcus Aurelius. Here's how it can empower your life.
How to turn an obstacle into a triumph
In The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday talks about the reverse clause, or turning an unplanned setback into a victory. If you are stuck at home with your kids, then you can turn that into an opportunity to grow closer to them. If your traditional work is on hold, you can find a way to pivot into services people need now.
As Holiday writes in his book: "When a technical glitch erases our work, our reverse clause is that we can start fresh and do it better this time. Our progress can be impeded or disrupted, but the mind can always be changed--it retains the power to redirect the path."
Boost your gratitude.
Sometimes it is easier to be grateful because of other habits. For example, by using a reverse clause, you begin to see the power of your current position--and automatically have gratitude for being in it.
I recently talked about the simple practice of replacing "have to" with "get to," which ties directly to the reverse clause idea.
Instead of saying you "have to" go on the fundraising road show because your startup is burning through money fast, switch it to you "get to go" on the fundraising road show because my startup represents something you truly believe in, and you have faith this is something worth pursuing. Believe that you are the rare person who actually can put the time and energy into something you care about.
The goal, then, isn't to wait until the tide turns your way. To paraphrase Warren Buffett, it is to maximize the wave you're riding on.