The Virtues of Adversity

personal development stoicism Sep 10, 2018
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What's your relationship with adversity? What's your posture when faced with a problem? How about your mindset when misfortune comes to call?

I say, "Bring it!"

Seriously, life's inevitable trials and tribulations are opportunities.

"It is difficulties that show what people are." - Epictetus

Having trouble finding your virtue? Your moral compass? Need to get back to first principles and your guiding values? Struggle and trouble reveal who you really are, and help inform the better you. Even in defeat or failure, you can cultivate character and resilience.

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." - Maya Angelou

Don't flee or hide from tough or trying times. Seek them out. Embrace them.

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

You may well find that a dip or moment of despair comes right before a period of leveling up, personal development, or self-improvement.

"A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights." - Marcus Aurelius

And remember, your perception of difficulty is much worse than what's really happening.

"We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality." - Seneca

And what's more, anything worth your valuable time, attention, and effort will challenge you. It comes with the territory.

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him." - Viktor Frankl

Thrashing through adversity will reveal talents and strength that had heretofore gone unnoticed or were lying dormant.

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant." - Horace

Faking certainty and confidence is ill-advised. Better to earn it through employing curiosity and courage.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Whatever the outcome, change and transformation are not only possible but inevitable.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." - Viktor Frankl

Whatever you do, please don't run away or hide! We need you to step into what's next with purpose and creativity. We need you to lead us.

What are you doing to transform obstacles into opportunities today?

Keep flying higher.


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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