Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. if I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning. – Mahatma Gandhi
“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” – Theodore Vail
What a profound quote! This is the sort of inspirational quote that makes you think… my absolute favorite kind. When I come face to truth with a quote like this one, I like to just spend a little time alone with it.
When I think back over my life, I can recall certain difficulties. I think of these difficulties as unwanted visitors. They always intrude in the same way. My family, figuratively, is sitting comfortably in around the dining room, having a wonderful meal – talking about University of Kentucky Basketball, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, the Denver Broncos. Then trouble arrives banging on the door, upsetting everyone and causing chaos. The most unwelcome guest of all time.
However, as I think back on these difficulties…. none of them won. We always survived. What’s more, we walked away stronger and wiser.
As Theodore Vail points out, it’s the imaginary visitors at the door that are our undoing. The problems we only “imagine” are at the door – problems that, truth be told, aren’t even on our property. These are the “What if…” variety of problems – the ones we invent in the most worrisome corner of our mind.”
As important and vital as thought is, and truthfully don’t we wish more people practiced the art, sometimes we can think too much. A lot can be said for dealing with difficulties and troubles as they come. Face it, people are going to talk if we run to the door, waving a Louisville Slugger in the air and threatening something that isn’t even there.
Next time you have a problem or difficulty, make sure it’s actually in the room with you before you lash out.
More Quotes About Adversity.
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Ever had one of those days? Of course you have… we all have. What’s more, we’ll continue to have “those days.” Heck, sometimes we overachieve and have “those weeks.”
Been there. Done that.
Below are my CURRENT favorite 25 quotes about adversity. The ones in bold? They’re my absolute favoritest of all.
When life kicks you, don’t let it kick you over. – Kay Yow
If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. – Robert Fulghum
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. – M. Kathleen Casey
I have learned there is a gift wrapped inside of every adversity and, if you have faith and hope, you can lose everything and still survive. – Sandi Bachom
When life kicks you, make it kick you forward. – Unknown
I had a lover’s quarrel with the world. – Robert Frost Quote, “The Lesson for Today”
Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. – Author Unknown
Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know of no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater their power to harm us. – Voltaire
The darkest hour has only sixty minutes. – Morris Mandel
Have the courage to face a difficulty lest it kick you harder than you bargained for. – Stanislaus I, Maxims
Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight. – Josh Billings
Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around. – Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb, from the song, “Rock Bottom”
Despair is anger with no place to go. – Mignon McLaughlin,”The Neurotic’s Notebook”
To have become a deeper man is the privilege of those who have suffered. – Oscar Wilde
Problems are messages. – Shakti Gawain
Problems are the price you pay for progress. – Branch Rickey
Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. – James Russell Lowell, “Cambridge Thirty Years Ago”
There are times in everyone’s life when something constructive is born out of adversity… when things seem so bad that you’ve got to grab your fate by the shoulders and shake it. – Author Unknown
You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Talking about your grievances merely adds to those grievances. Give recognition only to what you desire. – Thomas Dreier
Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. – J. Willard Marriott
Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them. – Hugh Miller, “Snow on the Wind”
I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them. – Boris Pasternak
We have no right to ask when a sorrow comes, “Why did this happen to me?” Unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way. – Philip E. Bernstein
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. – Victor Hugo
BONUS: My oldest daughter, Emily, was about 8 when she said something about problems that I will always remember:
What doesn’t kill you will one day make for a great story. – Emily Sigers
More quotes about adversity!
“Men are respectable only as they respect” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I got an e-mail earlier – one of those e-mails that make the rounds. Nine out of ten times these e-mails provoke a positive response from me:
- Cute pictures of animals make me smile from my head to my toes.
- Jokes make me laugh – even the ones I don’t get.
- E-mails that caution the reader about online scams or viruses make me cautious.
- E-mails pointing me to great recipes make me thankful… and hungry.
But every once in a while one comes along that I delete faster than I eat a chocolate cupcake. I, for one, don’t like e-mails that are disrespectful to anyone. It doesn’t matter if I like the person or what they stand for, whatsoever. I have a strong distaste for disrespect and very little use for people who are disrespectful.
I remember the very first Presidential election I was cognizant of. My mom and my dad were huge, huge, huge supporters of one of the candidates. They talked about it so much that I got the impression they actually knew him.
Unfortunately (for them) their guy did not win. When the day came for the “swearing in” of the gentleman who did win, my mom sat down in front of the television to watch. She made very nice comments about his wife and seemed genuinely proud for both of them. It was a bit much for my young, Barbie-doll-obsessed mind to handle, so I asked her why she was watching the “bad guy” enjoy the win.
She was very quick to point out that he wasn’t the “bad guy”. She extolled his virtues as well as those of his wife and said that he had her full support. She then said something that has always stuck with me. She said, “He’s my President now.”
I recall that she did, as always, follow the news and never missed a Presidential address. I also recall that she never said an unkind word about him. Ever. Even when the next election rolled around and the man she voted for won, she cried as the other one left office. I didn’t even ask why, I knew: He had been her President.
That wasn’t just the sign of a well-mannered southern woman and it wasn’t just a case of a patriotic lady. It was a complete and total lesson in R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
What most people fail to realize is this: When you are disrespectful toward an individual (whether it’s the President of the United States, a politician from Alaska, or the lady who waits on you at the grocery store), you say far more about yourself than you do them.
And none of it’s good.
“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” – Jackie Robinson
None of us will agree with everything anyone does or says. Whether it’s Sarah Palin’s hunting (grrrrr) or President Obama’s Health Plan (?????). I’m certainly not saying that we don’t have the right to express our opinions. Many brave men died to provide us with that right. All I’m saying is this: There’s a difference between stating your opinion and being downright nasty and disrespectful.
When a national magazine placed Mrs. Palin on the cover in casual attire, wearing kind of a wild-eyed expression – it wreaked of disrespect.
When bloggers post jokes about President Obama or our First Lady, it wreaks of disrespect.
Disrespect doesn’t just show up on the political scene, of course. How about our daily life?
- Do you treat your spouse with respect?
- Do you treat your parents with respect?
- Do you treat your children with respect?
- Do you treat your children’s friends with respect?
- Do you treat your grandparents with respect?
- Do you treat your grandchildren with respect?
- Do you treat workers in public with respect?
- Do you treat your co-workers with respect?
- Do you treat strangers with respect?
Notice that it isn’t just important to treat people who are older than you with respect. Young people deserve respect as well. As I’ve pointed out before, the respect you show toward others says a lot more about your manners, your culture, your character, your breeding, and your nature than it does the other person’s.
This may sound like the cat biting the hand that strokes it, because I make my living from the internet and blogs – but I think both have contributed greatly toward the disrespect so prevalent amongst people today. Social media isn’t helping things either. Last week, I had a comment left one one of my blogs that wasn’t just contrary, it was down-right mean. She didn’t contribute anything to the conversation or to the topic at hand, whatsoever. She just spat a little venom and slithered off.
I welcome commentators who disagree with me. In fact, I had a fascinating conversation (in the comments on Self Help Daily) with one individual about sunning. They really challenged my thinking and made me dig deeper in my research. I loved it! They were respectful and I greatly enjoyed the back and forth. They made me reconsider a few things and I’m grateful that they took the time to leave comments.
But this gal – wow. No good came from it and her whole demeanor was disrespectful and childish.
Very often, that’s the trademark of disrespect – childishness. A mature person will treat everyone around them with respect. When they disagree with an individual, they’ll do so in a manner that makes you want to hear them out, not run away, covering your ears and hoping a tree falls on them.
“Judging others against our own standards is being egoistical. Respect everyone’s right to be different!” – Wai-Fatt Yee
Every now and then, examine how you treat others – at home, at work, online, in the store…. Do you treat people with respect? If not, do you realize that you’re hurting yourself far more than you are anyone else? I don’t want you to do that! I want the world to see you for the wonderful, classy, extra-cool person that you are.
You’ve got style, kid, why not let everyone see that?!?!
More Quotes about Respect
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
More Inspirational Quotes