The theory of compensation

By Dave Henning / October 19, 2016

In Chapter 13 (“Snowy Day”) of Chase the Lion, Mark Batterson notes that Alfred Adler proposed his counterintuitive theory of compensation around 1900.  The famed psychologist believed perceived disadvantages often come costumed as well-disguised advantages.  Dr. Adler put forth his premise that  perceived disadvantages force us to develop attitudes and abilities that lie beneath our surface.  As we compensate for those drawbacks, we unearth our greatest gifts.

Therefore, Adler concluded, perceived disadvantages can be springboards to success.  In addition, Mark explains:

“And that success is not achieved in spite of those perceived disadvantages.  It’s achieved because of them.”

Hence, revelations of destiny don’t occur via sunny days or watching cute kitten videos.  Mark states that destiny reveals itself:

  • on snowy days
  • when you cross paths with a five-hundred-pound lion
  • in your natural gifts and abilities
  • in the compensatory skills you must work extra hard to develop

Also, Mark contends, we seldom show conscious awareness of all our gifts and abilities.  Often these gifts and abilities lie buried beneath observed chinks in our armor.  There, your dreams play hide-and-seek.

As a result, two options present themselves when it comes to difficult circumstances.  You opt either to (a) complain or (b) make the most of them.  Whether one self-inflicts those events or they result from someone else’s actions, lion chasers make the most of them.

In conclusion, Mark asserts, often chasing a dream starts by naming, then confessing your excuses.  Once you call your excuse for what it is, start to pursue your dream.  Mark states the obvious: “You cannot finish what you do not start.”

Today’s question: How would you apply Adler’s theory of compensation to your life during your land between time?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Opportunity cost”

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Dave Henning

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