Daily Archives: June 17, 2010

Overcoming Adversity

Recently I found a site about personal development and wanted to let you know about it.  Click here to go there.  This article and the one for tomorrow are written by Chuck Gallozzi.  I thought they were worth re-posting below.

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Pain, suffering, stress and other difficulties are the admission tickets to the game of life.  But at times, we cannot help suspecting that life would be much more pleasant without the hassles.  Is that what you think?  Before answering, ponder the following.  In a world without hurdles, there are no champions; without suffering, there are no saints; without battles, there are no victories; without rain, no rainbows.  Doesn’t it appear that a world that includes pain is more rewarding than one that doesn’t?  Isn’t heat necessary to produce gold, pressure and polishing necessary to produce diamonds and adversity necessary to produce character?

Here’s how Henry Ford expressed the same sentiment: Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.

There are five (5) points that Mr. Gallozzi makes about Adversity.  The first is below and the other four will follow tomorrow.

1.  Adversity is unavoidable.  So, don’t fight it, accept it.  Develop the proper attitude, for as Havelock Ellis wrote,  ‘Pain and death are part of life’.  To reject them is to reject life itself.  Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  We can choose to be strong.  It is not misfortune that produces suffering, but an improper reaction to it.

Even under the worst circumstances, we can choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Thomas A. Edison is an example. In 1914, a fire almost destroyed his New Jersey laboratories. Valuable records of his experiments and two million dollars worth of equipment were lost. When surveying the damage, the sixty-seven year old Edison said,  ‘There is great value in disaster.  All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew’.

When Hurricane Mitch swept across Central America and parts of the U.S., it left a path of destroyed homes, dashed dreams and broken hearts. After the storm subsided, birds returned to uprooted trees and began to sing. Isnt it true, as Rose F. Kennedy said,  ‘Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them’?

We all have dealt with adversity or know someone who has or may be right now.  This is a reminder of what most of us have heard about how to handle situations we feel are negative.