adversity - adversity 2 - adversity 3 - adversity 5

In every adversity there lies
the seed of an equivalent advantage.
In every defeat is a lesson showing
you how to win the victory next time.

Robert Collier


Those who know no hardships will know no hardihood.  Those who face no calamity will need no courage.  Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.

Harry Emerson Fosdick


We do not know what we can bear until we are put to the test.  Many a delicate mother, who thought that she could not survive the death of her children, has lived to bury her husband and the last one of a large family, and in addition to all this has seen her home and last dollar swept away; yet she has had the courage to bear it all and to go on as before.  When the need comes, there is a power deep within us that answers the call.

Orison Swett Marden


Whatever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good.  So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.

Leigh Hunt

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.

Jack Penn


To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education.  To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun.  To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.



We cannot be guilty of a greater act of uncharitableness, than to interpret
the afflictions which befall our neighbors as punishments and judgments.

Joseph Addison


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There is in every person's heart a spark of heavenly fire which
lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which
kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.

Washington Irving


The one law that does not change is that everything changes, and the
hardship I was bearing today was only a breath away from the pleasures
I would have tomorrow, and those pleasures would be all the richer
because of the memories of this I was enduring.

Louis L'Amour


Certain circumstances are so overwhelmingly difficult that the best
we can do to promote our eventual healing is simply to mark time,
stay alive, and bear up under the worst of our suffering.

Ann Kaiser Stearns

If you reflect on your life, you may recall times when you couldn't see
the value of some person and were tempted to brush him or her off.  It
takes hindsight to recognize that the very situation you may have seen
as an irritating bother turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Wouldn't
life be a much more enjoyable and meaningful experience if we decided
to look at the difficult people and irritating situations as blessings in
disguise?  If we look deeply enough, we might see how these experiences
as situations that motivate us to grow and change for the better.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

The worst thing in your life may contain seeds of the best.
When you can see crisis as an opportunity,
your life becomes not easier, but more satisfying.

Joe Kogel


Trials, temptations, disappointments--all these are helps instead of
hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber of
character but strengthen it.  Every conquering of temptation represents
a new fund of moral energy.  Every trial endured and weathered in the
right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.

James Buckham



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Without adversity, without change, life is boring.
The paradox of comfort is that we stop trying.

John Amatt


Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself
the most comforting words of all:  This, too, shall pass.

Ann Landers


Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals.
I never had a crisis that didn't make me stronger.

Lou Holtz

adversity - adversity 2 - adversity 3 - adversity 5


There are not so many lessons in glad times.
Adversity is by far the better teacher.
Adversity will be part of almost all our lives.
So it is not in escaping adversity,
but in answering it, that our character is defined.

Christopher Warren


Never rejoice at other people's misfortunes for you cannot
know when adversity may come to you.

Old Testament


In the hour of adversity be not without hope
For crystal rain falls from black clouds.




It's kind of a test, Mary, and it's the only kind that amounts to anything.
When something rotten like this happens, then you have your choice.
You start to really be alive, or you start to die.  That's all.

James Agee
A Death in the Family


If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.
Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don't embrace trouble; that's
as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for
you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known
defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found
their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a
sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion,
gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you
will grow if you are sick, in pain, experience losses, and if you
do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain and learn
to accept it, not as a curse or punishment, but as a gift to you
with a very, very specific purpose.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Twenty years of living with a life-threatening disease, cancer, brings
me into daily conversations with my soul.  My healing has depended
upon these as much or more as it has on medical expertise.  I think
cancer was my soul's desperate attempt to get me to pay attention to
its needs for intimacy, authentic expression, creativity, and replenishing
solitude.  I think of cancer as a teacher that was not invited,
but has come to my house to visit from time to time nonetheless.

Dawna Markova
I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

- adversity 2 - adversity 3 - adversity 5

The difficulties, hardships, and trials of life, the obstacles one encounters on
the road to fortune, are positive blessings.  They knit the muscles more firmly,
and teach self-reliance.  Peril is the element in which power is developed.

William Matthews

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains,
losses, and disappointments; but let us have patience,
and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

Joseph Addison


Adversity can be a great advantage to any person, for it rouses our resources,
excites our energies, stimulates our skill, and fires our fortitude.

Fred van Amburgh

To accept struggle as part of life, to accept all of it, even the darkest moments
of anguish; to be motivated by love rather than fear, by confidence rather than
insecurity:  these are the benchmarks of high self-esteem.  The wish to avoid
fear and pain is not the motive that drives the lives of highly evolved men and
women; rather, it is the life force within them, thrusting toward its unique form
of expression--the actualization of personal values.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more
significant and the higher in inspiration his or her life will be.

Horace Bushnell


If there are difficulties in your path, be thankful for them.  They will
test your capabilities of resistance; you will be impelled to
persevere from the very energy of the opposition.

William Punshon


I write about adversity, I praise adversity, not to be pessimistic, but
rather to strengthen myself. The more familiar that you are with it, the
less likely you are to have a breakdown when it occurs. You become
more reflective of its purpose, you understand God's reason for it,
and are then able to make the best of everything that you are handed.
The darkness is only frightening after constant sunshine.

Criss Jami

God's way of dealing with us is to throw us into situations over
our depth, then supply us with the necessary ability to swim.

Catherine Marshall


Courage, brothers and sisters!  Do not stumble, though thy path be as
dark as night; there's a star to guide the humble.  Trust in God and do the right.

Norman MacLeod



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.