adversity - adversity 2 - adversity 4 - adversity 5

We win half the battle when we
make up our minds to take the world
as we find it, including the thorns.

Orison Swett Marden


Affliction comes to us all not to make us sad, but sober; not to make us sorry, but wise; not to make us despondent, but by its darkness to refresh us, as the night refreshes the day; not to impoverish, but to enrich us, as the plough enriches the field; to multiply our joy, as the seed by planting is multiplied a thousand-fold.

Henry Ward Beecher


I heard a story about a woman who grew up in Texas.  When she was having trouble in her life, she would visit her grandmother, who lived nearby and always had a kind word and some wisdom to pass on.  One day she was complaining to her grandmother about some situation and her grandmother just turned to her, smiled sadly, and said, “Sometimes, darlin’, you’ve just got to rise above yourself in this life.”  I’ve remembered that wise advice many times as I’ve faced trouble in my life.

Bill O’Hanlon

How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by times of fulfillment; that sorrow can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements. . . and into dreams that we can make come true!

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

Adversity introduces a person to him or herself.  On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.



When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that
they could always be worse.  And when they are, we find hope in
the thought that things are so bad they have to get better.

Malcolm Forbes


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Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

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When the first Superman movie came out, I was frequently asked, "What is a hero?"
My answer was that a hero is someone who commits a courageous action
without considering the consequences. . . . Now my definition is completely different.
I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere
and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

Christopher Reeve


If we fight against the waves that pass over us in life, we are overpowered.
If we move with the waves in life as they roll over us, the wave passes on.

Pesikta Zurtarti


The happy and efficient people in this world are those
who accept trouble as a normal detail of human life
and resolve to capitalize it when it comes along.

H. Bertram Lewis


Sometimes things which at the moment may be perceived as
obstacles--and actually be obstacles, difficulties, or
drawbacks--can in the long run result in some good end which
would not have occurred if it had not been for the obstacle.

Steve Allen

We all have to go through the tumbler a few times before
we can emerge as a crystal.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you,
till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer,
never give up then, for that is just the place and time
that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe


The gem cannot be polished without friction,
nor people perfected without trials.

Chinese saying

adversity - adversity 2 - adversity 4 - adversity 5



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Adversity?  It's a tonic, not a stumbling block!  Every
adversity carries the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Napoleon Hill


In times of adversity, I remember I am strong enough to meet the challenges
of my life.  I am equal to every situation, a match for every difficulty.  Sourced
in the power of the Universe, I allow that power to work through me.  I meet
calamity with strength.  I have stamina.  Rather than draw on limited resources,
I draw on the infinite power within me that moves through me to accomplish
its good.  I am fueled by all the love, all the strength there is.  Loving strength
melts mountains.  I am ever partnered and supplied by the universal flow.
Knowing this, I do not doubt my strength.  I am strong and secure.

Julia Cameron


Adversity may be used as a stepping stone to better things, or it
may be used as an excuse for failure.  You can measure your
own worth by your reactions to adversity.

J.M. Jussawalla


If things are tough, remember that every flower had to go through a whole lot
of dirt to get there.  So do not grieve about a bitter experience.  The present
is slipping by while you are regretting the past and worrying about the future.
Regret will not prevent tomorrow’s sorrows; it will only rob today of its strength.

Barbara Johnson


Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much
as adversity has.  Out of pain and problems have come the
sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories.

Billy Graham


Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it;
for such do always see that in every cloud is an angel's face.

St. Jerome

Even if I may be going through a challenging experience, I am grateful,
for I know that good will come from it.  Will I learn of inner strength that
I didn't know I had?  Will I gain a renewed appreciation for my life and
the people in it?   I am grateful for my present circumstances,
for I know they offer opportunities for growth.

unattributed, The Daily Word

adversity - adversity 2 - adversity 4 - adversity 5


If it is true that strength is the child of effort and pain, then most of us
will have the opportunity to learn strength. . . . Effort is standing up to
the storm.  Pain comes from enduring the worst the storm can throw
at us.  But then so does strength.

Joseph M. Marshall III


If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.

Anne Bradstreet



The human capacity to fight back will always astonish
doctors and philosophers.  It seems, indeed, that
there are no circumstances so bad and no obstacles so big
that human beings cannot conquer them.

Jean Tetreau


Your first big trouble can be a bonanza if you live through it.  Get through
the first trouble, and you'll probably make it through the next one.

Ruth Gordon


Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel
as free to delight in whatever remains to them?

Rose Kennedy

There's a tremendous amount to be gained through what appears to
be adversity.  If we don't allow the crisis, these challenges to take
place, then we remain fixed in life and never really ripen or mature.

Thomas More

In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need
to feel the stress of the storm.

Corrie ten Boom


A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.

Helen Keller


No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky.  No
water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand.  And
no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity.
Tested faith brings experience.  You would never have believed your own
weakness had you not needed to pass through trials.  And you would
never have known God’s strength had His strength not been
needed to carry you through.

Charles H. Spurgeon

Don't let the workings of adversity totally absorb your life.  Try to understand
what you can.  Act where you are able; then let the matter rest with the Lord for
a period while you give to others in worthy ways before you take on appropriate
concern again.  Please learn that as you wrestle with a challenge and feel sadness
because of it, you can simultaneously have peace and rejoicing.  Yes, pain,
disappointment, frustration, and anguish can be temporary scenes played out on
the stage of life.  Behind them can be a background of peace and the positive
assurance that a loving Father will keep His promises.

Richard G. Scott


People are afraid when dark clouds gather and thunder clashes.
But clouds and thunder are nothing; they are only the sources
of rain for the hot and parched earth.  Do not be afraid of clouds;
do not be afraid of difficulties.  Keep moving straight ahead.
Give your hand to God, and he will keep you
in the light twenty-four hours a day.

Baba Virsa Singh

Though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit be on
the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields
yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and
there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

from the Book of Habakkuk

It is the wind and the rain, O God, the cold and the storm that
make this earth of yours to blossom and bear its fruit.  So in our
lives it is storm and stress and hurt and suffering that make real
men and women bring the world's work to its highest perfection.

W.E.B. DuBois



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(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.