One of the great things about the long evolutionary and developmental journey that brought our species to where we are today is that we have encountered pretty well every problem known to mankind.

That’s not to say that ‘new’ problems can’t arise, they can, but if you look at the underlying patterns there’ll be something in history, or someone, that gives clues about haw any problem can be dealt with. In an odd way it can be reassuring to know that others have trodden the same path and, for the most part, survived.

This is particularly true when we are in a personal crisis because it provides perspective, and possibly even answers. For me, another major factor in considering this is that people’s lives and histories can provide balance. For every one of us who claims our problems are due to some unlucky event, difficult childhood, quirk of fate or what have you, there are dozens more who suffered the same setbacks, but didn’t allow the events to define them. On the contrary, they used the them as a propellant.

While for some, misfortune can be seen as an explanation for our troubles, for others the same adversity will act as a springboard to achievement.