Do you ever feel like things are stacked against you? Perhaps you even feel unlucky?
Think about people who succeeded despite great adversity.
And then ask yourself what is more in your favor, to feel denied or learn to overcome adversity?
If you feel denied, you’re probably right, but it’s a trick of the mind not to allow negative things in. Focusing on the learning to overcome adversity puts you on the road to success
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”. – Winston Churchill
Here’s a story of a man who influenced me as a teenager.
I was at the beach one summer day when a South American man in his early 40’s pulled his station wagon near my beach towel. It was a sunny day and people were everywhere. The moment he arrived people gathered around to buy a bag of corn chips with a scoop of spicy chili-like sauce poured over the top.
As the summer progressed we became friends – but it took me a decade to realize he’d taught me a lot about conquering adversity.
This man never complained, never cursed the system or anyone for that matter. He would sit and read a coursebook on the English language in between customers.
I had been raised around culturally diverse groups and as a child, half of my friends didn’t speak my language, therefore, I learned how to sketch, or act out communication. So, I began communicating with him right off the bat. It amused him but even more, he appreciated my lack of concern what anyone thought. And so, I became his tutor for a bag of those amazing chips.
I sadly remember that people didn’t treat him so nicely, and he lived in a very bad neighborhood with his family, but he was always positive and always studying.
Most of the families working in that area were migrant crop pickers and 15 of them might live in a two-room shack. I assumed he did as well and one day I express pity for him – but he called me out on it, and said, “The world is big, pity is for those who want to be lost, I just need a map!”
I was not the typical teen, I preferred to study or read over parties and groups. Therefore, it was easy to talk this man’s ear off. He’d laugh at times over it, but he was a walking encyclopedia. We discussed the jellyfish, and seashells, rocks and fish, how waves were formed, and why people were the way they were. The man was a raving science buff who made everything funny. I will always remember the morning hunt for shells I’d gather before he arrived. They were our research pieced and how I taught him English.
The last time I saw him I shed tears to say goodbye, but it was a happy moment to learn he’d been offered a position that would give him and his family a chance. This is what I learned from him.
“Every failure is a real experience, and every success is because of that real experience!”
The only way you’re going to beat adversity is to focus on learning to overcome. He focused on learning the language and finding a way without dwelling on the fact that he deserved better. Hell, he survived by selling bags of chips one by one with a smile on his face, and the whole time he was a man with a Ph.D.!
Four-time President of the United States. At 39 years old and with a promising political career ahead of him, Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio. But that didn’t stop him from running for office and becoming one of the greatest presidents in history.
And in this era, Americans had a less than a good image of people with physical limitations—they tended to judge outward disabilities as those with lesser mental capabilities. Those with disabilities were much of the time isolated and had trouble finding jobs, let alone high political posts. Despite the immense diversity of polio and his weakened image, Roosevelt did what he wanted to do. Being denied a body free of disease, he used his mind that much more.
Quotes On Hope
“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 Kübler-Ross
“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
― Thomas Paine,
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
― Helen Keller
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― Mark Twain
Nobel Prize-winning physicist. We all know his story. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics and was famous for his brilliance and originality, making the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius.
He couldn‘t get a job teaching physics or as a professor.” Here’s a man who developed a theory of special and general relativity, and was a major contributor to quantum mechanics to name a couple of his accomplishments! And it took two years to get a job! We forget that famous people were not always famous or living the good live, they went through tough times. I cannot imagine having a mind such as Einstein and not finding a job!
Author of Man’s Search For Meaning, one of the ten most influential books in the United States. The book sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages by the time he passed away in 1997!
A holocaust victim and survivor who was imprisoned at several concentration camps including Auschwitz where he lost his pregnant wife and family at the murderous hands of the Nazis.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
― Victor Frankl
The most successful female surfer of all time with the greatest number of consecutive world titles, male or female. Founder and Director of, Aim For The Stars Foundation, fostering self-belief in young girls and women to achieve their dreams.
What might not be obvious was the adversity she faced with mental, physical, and emotional challenges that led to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and depression. But this remarkable athlete and caring woman faced it, beat it, and went on to win 8 world titles!
I speak from experience, it’s not always easy to get up each morning and do what’s right. Even when we love what we do, as Layne loves the waves. When pressures mount physically and mentally it takes learning to overcome adversity one day at a time and for many, it takes a variety of strategies. Like for me, I need a wide range of creative outlets to fight adversity at times, one plan doesn’t do it.
Legally blind, Charlotte, has gone beyond athletic achievements. At age 17, she won a bronze medal in pole vault at Texas state high school track and field championships.
Charlotte describes her visuals as seeing a small light at the end of a straw. Everything else is dark.
Charlotte was blind from near infancy, yet that’s not stopped her quest to become one of the best in an event that would seem next to impossible to be a champion pole vaulter! Wow. Adversity conquered and beaten!
“I finally did it,” Brown said. “If I could send a message to anybody, it’s not about pole vaulting and it’s not about track. It’s about finding something that makes you happy despite whatever obstacles are in your way.”
― Charoltte Brown
Bruce Lynn Dellinger
This lovely man captures life in his sketches, and each picture shows a kind of happiness most would envy. But he sketches with his mouth. After a farming accident in 1981 left him a C5-C6 quadriplegic, he didn’t give up life, he chose to put that life on canvas. Cheers!
The adversity we feel drifts in our mind,
feeding the ego, confining the soul.
But adversity cannot chain us,
for it is we, who decides what our life will be.
― Efrona Mor
More Quotes On Hope
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
― John Lennon
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
― Anne Frank
Chinese migrant workers’ band spreads music and joy to laborers away from home in the Yangtze River Delta area
We forget the adversity that circles the globe. China’s migrant laborers make up one-third of the workforce, yet they are often marginalized. This band for eight years as of 2018 consisted of 30 workers who preformed music to spread joy to fellow laborers.
We can let adversity keep us down, make us feel sorry for ourselves, or we can learn to overcome it. One of the best ways to overcome difficulties is by giving to others.
BILL GATES FIRST BUSINESS FAILED
Yep, one of the richest people in the whole world failed miserably in his first venture. Traf-O-Data (a device that read traffic tapes and processed the data), failed. When Gates and his partner, Paul Allen, tried to sell it, the product wouldn’t even work. But as you well know, Gates and Allen didn’t let that stop them from trying again.
Again it’s hard to look at Bill Gates and imagine he ever suffered adversity, but money is not a cure from it. He suffer, he rose above and I bet he still deals with adversity in one way or another.
FunBug – Nick Woodman
Here’s a young guy, Nick, not born into money, a ‘B student’ during college, and an avid surfer. And before creating the now wildly successful brand of wearable cameras – GoPro, he failed two online startups. The second one, FunBug, an online marketing company failed huge, with a 4 million dollar loss.
But then came the GoPro. What pushed this young man to not give up after losing 4 million dollars? He must have had a small reaction of “run for the hills!”
‘I was so afraid that GoPro was going to go away like Funbug that I would work my ass off. That’s what the first boom and bust did for me. I was so scared that I would fail again that I was totally committed to succeed.’ ― Nick Woodman
Whatever your adversity is don’t feel alone, learning to overcome adversity is your best chance, so let’s learn a few methods that work and create a specific plan just for you.