Adversity is inevitable. At some point, each of us must face hardship. These difficulties can take on many forms: stress at work, problems with friends or family, or even the death of a loved one. Naturally, when people face such problems, they tend to feel depressed, anxious and hopeless. From there, they do their best to move on from their misfortune while resenting that it ever happened. But what if we responded differently when we fall down? What if, as positive psychology researcher Shawn Achor puts it*, we choose to fall up?Although we will encounter hardship and fall no matter what we do, three possible outcomes await us farther down the road. First, we could fully recover, ending up back where we were before the fall occurred. Second, we could fall and stay down, worse off than we were originally. Lastly, we could use the fall to our benefit, ultimately leaving us in even better shape than we were before. Few take this path, but it is a game-changing lifestyle choice that can have a huge impact on your happiness and success.The key to falling up is to see hardship as a potential advantage. No matter what the misfortune is, you must see it as an opportunity for growth, change and learning. It’s okay to feel upset or depressed, or to mourn. However, at some point we must adopt a strategic mindset, asking ourselves, “How can I use this situation to my advantage?”Here’s an analogy. You know those big exercise balls? Next time you’re at the gym (or if you have one at home), take a seat on top of one and lift your feet so that you are not touching the floor. Now, try to keep the ball perfectly still. It’s no easy feat. The ball is constantly moving, shifting under your weight in a continuous effort to roll out from under you. When life gets rough, you must be the ball. Never allow yourself to get pinned into one position or into one negative frame of mind. Instead, use the heavy adversity on top of you to roll in a positive direction.Take your job, for example. Your workload is probably always increasing, but the time to complete it remains the same. Most people in this situation despair, trying to keep up but resenting every moment of their workday. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?Instead, take a moment to assess how you can use this seemingly bad situation to your advantage. Be the ball! Perhaps your larger workload could motivate you to revisit your daily routine, which reveals ways to improve your productivity. This may also be an opportunity to demonstrate that you are capable of taking on additional work, thus proving that you deserve a raise or promotion. Believe that adversity can mobilize you into new beneficial ways of working that would not have otherwise arisen.Adversity, especially in its most severe forms, is nothing to be trivialized. Bad things happen and you are completely entitled to the negative emotions and thoughts that naturally surface. The question is, what next? After an appropriate period of time has passed, how will you respond to this situation not just in a resilient way, but in a way that propels you upward? Adopting this attitude virtually guarantees you more happiness and success in your life. If you don’t fall upward, you may still find happiness and success, but they will be far more elusive.Embrace difficult experiences as disguised opportunities. With practice, you will see how falling up can drastically change things. When in doubt, just remember: Be the ball! And keep on rolling.MORE: Find Pleasure in the Best Hobby for You