Faced with pulling many train cars up an enormous hill, larger
engines refused to attempt it. Finally, a small engine agrees
to try, repeating the mantra,
I-think-I-can." After reaching the crest, the little
engine triumphantly chugs:
I'd like to
alter the story a bit for the grown-up crowd. Change the chant
actually be a positive thing, even though it certainly doesn't feel
like it when we are facing it. Adversity is what defines
us. It is easy to have a great attitude, a strong work ethic
and a positive outlook when things are going great. But how do
we stand up during tough times?
following phenomenal achievements of famous people who experienced
- When Bob
Dylan performed at his high school talent show, classmates booed him
off the stage.
- Walt Disney
experienced both bankruptcy and a tragic nervous breakdown and still
made it to the top of the mountain.
Harry S. Truman went broke in the men's clothing store he started.
- Sir Walter
Raleigh wrote the "History of the World" during a 13-year
Luther translated the Bible while enduring confinement in the Castle
- Dante wrote
the "Divine Comedy" while under a sentence of death and
during 20 years in exile.
at birth, Helen Keller was not able to speak, hear or see during her
long life, yet she became a famous author and worldwide celebrity
for her charm and wisdom.
We must push
through the adversity we face. If we don't, we will be poorly
prepared for winning. People are successful because they face
adversity head on to gain strength and skill. They don't take
the path of least resistance. Adversity is a powerful teacher.
Abraham Lincoln said, "My great concern is not whether you have
failed but whether you are content with your failure."
And few people failed in early life as much as Lincoln, yet he is
regarded as one of our greatest presidents.
When you get
discouraged, when you cannot seem to make it, there is one thing
that you cannot do without. It is that priceless ingredient of
success called relentless effort. You must never give
up. Success cannot be achieved without experiencing some
saying advises, "When fate throws a dagger at you, there are
only two ways to catch it, either by the blade or by the
There was an
old farmer who had suffered through a lifetime of troubles and
afflictions that would have leveled an ordinary mortal. But
through it all he never lost his sense of humor.
have you managed to keep so happy and serene?" asked a friend.
ain't hard," said the old fellow with a twinkle in his
eye. "I've just learned to cooperate with the
with the inevitable" enables us to catch adversity by the
handle, thereby using it as the tool that it was intended to be.
Moral: Adversity causes some people to break and others to
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