Life is calling us to higher ground. Adversity stirs us to build inner strength. Others have shared wisdom that can help strengthen and motivate us. Below are several reflections on resilience. You might wish to ponder one or two a day. Review the quotes from others and think about how they may apply to your own situation.
Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you…yet, someone survived…You can do anything you choose to do.
There exist some evils so terrible and some misfortunes so horrible that we dare not think of them, whilst their very aspect makes us shudder; but if they happen to fall on us, we find ourselves stronger than we imagined, we grapple with our ill luck, and behave better than we expected we should.
~Jean de La Bruyere
Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.
People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s circumstances to push them down and hold them under.
~Charles R. Swindoll
It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.
The sturdiest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest but high upon some rocky crag, where its daily battle with the elements shapes it into a thing of beauty.
When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces
himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he
certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining?
That doesn’t matter. Am I tired? That doesn’t matter either. Then
willpower will be no problem.
~Emil Zatopek, Czech Olympic great
Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.
For fast acting relief—try slowing down.
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
~Sir Winston Churchill….June 4, 1940
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror
that reflects it.
No man can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of joy of spirit goes over to carnal pleasures.
He that can’t endure the bad will not live to see the good.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not… nothing is more common than unsuccessful people will talent.
Genius will not… unrewarded genius is almost legendary.
Education will not…. the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
~President Calvin Coolidge
One who makes no mistakes never makes anything.
He who is grateful doesn’t suffer.
Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.
~Malcom Stevenson Forbes
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be seen from the top of the mountain. So are many things learned in adversity, which the prosperous man dreams not of.
Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.
~John Gardner, professor, Stanford School of Business
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I haven’t failed. I’ve identified 10,000 ways this doesn’t work.
Those who can truly be accounted brave are those who best know the meaning of what is sweet in life and what is terrible, and then go out, undeterred, to meet what is to come.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
The first step to becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you’re creating your own emergencies. Life will usually go on if things don’t go according to plan. It’s helpful to keep reminding yourself and repeating the sentence, “Life isn’t an emergency.”
~Richard Carlson, Ph.D., from the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Humor is just another defense against the universe.
Humor prevents one from becoming a tragic figure even though he / she is involved in tragic events.
~E. T. Eberhart
While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
In the depths of winter, I discovered in me an invincible summer.
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.
Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow