People who find meaning in adversity usually have these 11 unique traits

If life was a roller coaster, we could all admit that there are a few moments when it feels like we’re hanging upside down with no seatbelt. Right?

There’s no denying that things don’t always go our way. Or that devastating things happen that change everything we thought we knew about life. 

Most people crumble.

But then there’s this extraordinary group of people who actually see the bright side. 

I know, I know.

We all hear that there’s a bright side. But few really believe this. 

These people, however, are all in. They find meaning and even joy in situations that would make most people want to give up. 

And it’s all thanks to some of their unique traits. The first is that…

1) They have a great sense of humor. 

Having a great sense of humor is a trait that shines even when times get tough. People who can laugh their way through challenges are the ones winning!

Now, I’m not saying you should be cheerful all the time. 

But if you can find the lighter side of things instead of succumbing to the weight of the moment, you have a better chance of overcoming whatever you face.

People who share well-timed jokes or a lighthearted perspective in difficult situations are often the strength we need most. They’re the ones who help us see the meaning of our misfortune and gain a fresh outlook.

When times are hard, being able to laugh at yourself or the absurdity of the situation can be a powerful coping mechanism.

People who find a way to do this manage challenges better and enjoy life more. 

Humor is also the reason why…

2) They bounce back like crazy.

Ever met someone who seems unbothered by setbacks? You know, that person who might fall down for a moment but then adapt and recover?

It’s not just luck – it’s a unique trait. And yeah, humor plays a role. 

Because these kinda people refuse to take everything too seriously, they don’t crumble under pressure. 

And by this, I don’t mean they see everything as a joke. It’s just that most people think disappointments, unexpected challenges, or a setback is unconquerable. 

But those who look at these moments or situations with a lighter heart and find meaning in them know they’re just temporary. 

This helps them see what’s really happening, reflect on what went wrong, and extract lessons. 

If you want to be more like this, learn to channel your inner bounce-back ability instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. This will help you turn any challenge into a stepping stone!

3) They always try to be optimistic. 

You’ve probably heard it before, shrugged it off, and went about your day. But trust me – the power of positivity is real. 

A person who always seems to find meaning in adversity is all the proof you need!

These kinda people always see beyond the horizon. And it’s not that they deny the fact that horrible things happen. They just choose to focus on the good. 

My mother-in-law is like this. She’s been diagnosed with a list of medical conditions too long for anyone to remember. Yet somehow, she’s the one least sad about it. 

Despite her pain, bad news from multiple doctors, and aging body, she’s still happy to just be alive. 

The way she stays hopeful and optimistic is inspiring. And I honestly think the power of this positivity is what’s kept her around for so long. 

4) They’re really good at adapting. 

Unless your life resembles a literal rock, you’ll know that circumstances are ever-changing. Unfortunately, most people have a hard time coping with this, especially if the change is unexpected. 

But people who see meaning in difficult times? They’re good. 

Flexibility is like second nature for them. They adapt to whatever life throws their way. This unique trait makes them ready for any unpredictable challenge. 

Looking from afar, it might seem like they’re constantly changing their plans, dreams, and goals. You might even find this confusing or think it’s because they’re failing at what they’re currently doing. 

But the truth is, deviating from carefully laid-out plans when circumstances change is what helps them move forward. 

And forward is the only way these kinda people want to go. Because…

the non linear path to success People who find meaning in adversity usually have these 11 unique traits

5) They have an unwavering determination to succeed. 

People who find meaning in adversity have raw grit. You know, that unshakeable commitment to goals that drive people to excel…

You might think they’re hopping from one ship to the other as soon as circumstances get rough, but in reality, they just know when things are changing so much that they need to. 

Most people stay on broken paths for too long or give up when they face setbacks, but people who see the good in hard times stay focused on the long-term plan and try to make whatever’s working against them work for them. 

6) They self-reflect a lot. 

A lot of times, when we face challenges, blame-shifting is the easiest way to cope. 

Now, I’m not saying it’s always your fault when bad things happen. 

But people who see the good in life’s trials like to use these moments as an opportunity to look inward. 

Instead of always blaming external factors, they self-reflect. This helps them recognize patterns in their choices and behaviors that contributed to their challenges. 

And with these insights, they make more conscious, positive changes in their life. 

While others stay down in the dumps, people who see meaning in hardship ask themselves what they can learn from these experiences and how their reactions shape their reality. 

Self-reflection isn’t always easy, I know. But it’s such a powerful tool.

One reason why these kinda people have an easy time doing it, however, is because…

7) They have a pretty good idea of what their purpose is.

Nothing will keep you as on track as your purpose can. Seriously. 

When you know why you’re doing something, doing it seems much easier. The same is true about knowing where you’re headed. 

Knowing will guide you through life’s storms. 

People who see opportunities in obstacles understand their purpose. This is why they have clarity and motivation when most people feel like their world is falling apart. 

8) They’re emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions and manage their impact on our behaviors and decisions. When life gets tough, this trait can save you.

People who seem to always emerge from the ashes are emotionally intelligent

Instead of giving in to panic or despair, they stay calm, assess, and make clear-headed decisions. 

They don’t allow fear, anger, or disappointment to control them but manage it constructively.  And when they can’t and it seems like negative emotions are about to overpower them…

9) They courageously step into the unknown. 

Despite the risks and uncertainties, people who find meaning in adversity sometimes face the unknown head-on

They know that even if things look bad right now, the sun will shine again. They also know their next step could lead them to the door they need, even if it feels scary.

I have a friend like this. She’s had her fair share of bad luck but never backs down. 

Recently, after a devastating personal loss, she’s decided to leave her comfort zone and move to a new country. Of course, this wasn’t an easy decision. But she continues to believe there are bigger things for her. 

Not many people stay this brave after going through what she did. 

10) They’re curious. 

Most people simply accept their fate when life gets hard. But those who know hardship is a lesson ask why. 

Asking questions is the driving force behind learning from our struggles. 

Curiosity in tough times encourages us to look beyond the surface. People who make the most of their bad moments start by trying to understand more.

Every challenge holds the potential for learning or transformation. But only if you’re curious enough to look for the opportunity. 

People who find meaning in adversity are. And one of the biggest reasons why they’re this way is because…

11) They’re open to experiencing all of life’s possibilities. 

Have you ever had an in-depth conversation with someone who grew up on the other side of the tracks? Ate a meal in a stranger’s house? Traveled somewhere that made you question your existence?

Stepping outside their comfort zone to explore new ideas, people, and situations is a daily thing for people who find meaning in tough times. 

They know that life is unpredictable, and there’s no better way to prepare than approaching each day with an open and curious mind. 

By embracing diversity, these kinda people open themselves to a world of learning, understanding, and growth. Which, in turn, makes them more resilient when things don’t go as planned. 

No one can deny that life is filled with challenges. 

But while many people allow these moments to define who they are or keep them stuck where they are, someone who keeps an open mind chooses to do more than survive. 

Hard times hold hidden gifts that become available to those willing to see them. If you’re struggling to find the reason why things get tough, keep an open mind, crack a joke, and self-reflect. 

Changing the way you respond could lead to growth you never thought possible. 

Picture of Natasha Combrink

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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