Best Adversity Quotes I Wish I Had Read

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We have compiled a list of Adversity quotes for you to read.


Adversity Quotes

The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.’ – Abigail Adams


‘It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. … Great necessities call out great virtues.’

– Abigail Adams


‘The fiery trials through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.’

Abraham Lincoln


‘The human race has had long experience and a fine tradition in surviving adversity. But we now face a task for which we have little experience, the task of surviving prosperity.’

– Alan Gregg


‘In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.’

Albert Camus


‘The struggle to the top is in itself enough to fulfill the human heart. Sisyphus should be regarded as happy.’

– Albert Camus


‘I never knew any man in my life who could not bear another’s misfortunes perfectly like a Christian.’

– Alexander Pope


‘Suffering raises up those souls that are truly great; it is only small souls that are made mean-spirited by it.’

– Alexandra David-Neel


‘Suffering! … We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.’

– Anatole France


‘Remember that the Devil doesn’t sleep, but seeks our ruin in a thousand different ways’

– Angela Merici


‘If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.’ – Anita Roddick


‘If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.’

– Anne Bradstreet


‘Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.’

– Anne Lamott


‘Adversity introduces a man to himself.’

– Anonymous


‘Trouble will rain on those who are already wet.’

 – Anonymous


‘Fire tries gold, misfortune men.’ 

– Anonymous


‘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.’

– Anonymous


‘God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.’ 

– Anonymous


‘Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom.’ 

– Anonymous


‘I didn’t know I’d have to be torn down before I could be built up.’ 

– Anonymous


‘Adversity comes with instruction in its hand.’

– Anonymous


‘A diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure.’ 

– Anonymous


‘In order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ 

– Anonymous


‘”The world is a wheel always turning,” philosophized Mrs. Pelz. “Those who were high go down low, and those who’ve been low go up higher.”‘ 

– Anzia Yezierska


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‘Difficulties should act as a tonic. They should spur us to greater exertion.’ 

– B. C. Forbes


‘Do not show your wounded finger, for everything will knock up against it.’ 

– Baltasar Gracian


‘One who was adored by all in prosperity is abhorred by all in adversity.’ 

– Baltasar Gracian


‘For me life is a challenge. And it will be a challenge if I live to be a hundred or if I get to be a trillionaire.’

– Beah Richards


‘The English nation is never so great as in adversity.’ 

– Benjamin Disraeli


‘There is no education like adversity.’ 

– Benjamin Disraeli


‘To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune, for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible.’

Benjamin Franklin


‘Those things that hurt, instruct.’ 

– Benjamin Franklin


‘Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?’ 

– Bible


‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’

 – Bible


‘Thou hast shown thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.’

– Bible


‘In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider.’ 

– Bible


‘I am escaped by the skin of my teeth.’ 

– Bible


‘I was lucky I wasn’t a better boxer, or that’s what I’d be now – a punchy ex-pug.’ 

Bob Hope


‘Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become.’

– Brooke Foss Westcott


‘Discontent and disorder were signs of energy and hope, not of despair.’ 

– C. V. Wedgwood


‘There is no coming to consciousness without pain.’

 – Carl Jung


‘I have always grown from my problems and challenges, from the things that don’t work out. That’s when I’ve really learned.’

Carol Burnett


‘There is often in people to whom “the worst” has happened an almost transcendent freedom, for they have faced “the worst” and survived it.’

– Carol Pearson


‘Often God has to shut a door in our face, so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go.’

– Catharine Marshall


‘When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.’ 

– Charles A. Beard


‘There are three modes of bearing the ills of life: by indifference, by philosophy and by religion.’

– Charles Caleb Colton


‘Problems are the price of progress. Don’t bring me anything but trouble.’ 

– Charles F. Kettering


‘Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.’ 

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon


‘I have an inward treasure born within me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld; or offered only at a price I cannot afford.’

Charlotte Bronte


‘You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat.’ 

– Christy Mathewson


‘Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch, what make you go beyond the norm.’

Cicely Tyson


‘The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.’

 – Confucius


‘Flowers grow out of dark moments.’ 

– Corita Kent


‘I long ago came to the conclusion that all life is six to five against.’ 

– Damon Runyon


‘Who hath not known ill fortune, never knew himself, or his own virtue.’ 

– David Mallett


‘I have learned in the great University of Hard Knocks a philosophy that no woman who has had an easy life ever acquires. I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow. It is the dark menace of the future that ‘

– Dorothy Dix


‘It is only the women whose eyes have been washed clear with tears who get the broad vision that makes them little sisters to all the world.’

– Dorothy Dix


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‘They sicken of the calm that know the storm.’ 

– Dorothy Parker


‘They sicken of calm, who know the storm.’ 

– Dorothy Parker


‘Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.’

– Dr. Alexis Carrel


‘A problem is a chance for you to do your best.’ 

Duke Ellington


‘And I think that’s important, to know how the water’s gone over the dam before you start to describe it. It helps to have been over the dam yourself.’

– E. Annie Proulx


‘Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.’ 

Edgar Allan Poe


‘A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.’ 

– Edgar Watson Howe


‘Hot water is my native element. I was in it as a baby, and I have never seemed to get out of it ever since.’

– Edith Sitwell


‘Adversity is a severe instructor. … He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.’

– Edmund Burke


‘Down you mongrel, Death! Back into your kennel!’ 

– Edna Saint Vincent Millay


‘Every experience, however bitter, has its lesson, and to focus one’s attention on the lesson helps one overcome the bitterness.’

– Edward Howard Griggs


‘They say a reasonable amount o’ fleas is good for a dog – it keeps him from broodin’ over bein’ a dog mebbe.’

– Edward Noyes Westcott


‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.’

– Edwin H. Chapin


‘If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.’ 

– Elbert Hubbard


‘Every time you meet a situation, though you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the torture of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.’

– Eleanor Roosevelt


‘True knowledge comes only through suffering.’ 

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning


‘Woman’s discontent increases in exact proportion to her development.’

– Elizabeth Cady Stanton


‘At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.’

– Ellen Key


‘Truth, like the burgeoning of a bulb under the soil, however deeply sown, will make its way to the light.’

– Ellis Peters


‘He disposes Doom who hath suffered him.’ 

Emily Dickinson


‘A wounded deer leaps the highest.’ 

– Emily Dickinson


‘A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.’

 – English proverb


‘Difficulties are things that show what men are.’ 



‘Treasure the memories of past misfortunes; they constitute our bank of fortitude.’

– Eric Hoffer


‘Suffering has always been with us, does it really matter in what form it comes? All that matters is how we bear it and how we fit it into our lives.’

– Etty Hillesum


‘Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.’

– Florence Nightingale


‘Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.’

– Francis Bacon


‘The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude.’ 

– Francis Bacon


‘As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly loss without some gain…. Set the allowance against the loss, and thou shalt find no loss great.’

– Francis Quarles


‘Strong people are made by opposition, like kites that go up against the wind.’ – Frank Harris

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ 

– Frank Leahy


‘It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity.’

– Frederick Phillips


‘Never does a man know the force that is in him till some mighty affection or grief has humanized the soul.’

– Frederick W. Robertson


‘Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.’ 

– Fridiric Chopin


‘What does not destroy me, makes me strong.’ 

Friedrich Nietzsche


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‘Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.’ 

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky


‘The secret of a leader lies in the tests he has faced over the whole course of his life and the habit of Taking Action he develops in meeting those tests.’

– Gail Sheehy


‘To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.’

– Gail Sheehy


‘You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.’

– George Bernard Shaw


‘There is nothing the body suffers which the soul may not profit by.’

– George Meredith


‘Wisdom comes by disillusionment.’ 

– George Santayana


‘It is often better to have a great deal of harm happen to one than a little; a great deal may rouse you to remove what a little will only accustom you to endure.’

– Grenville Kleiser


‘Trouble is the thing that strong men grow by. Met in the right way, it is a sure- fire means of putting iron into the victim’s will and making him a tougher man to down forever after.’

– H. Bertram Lewis


‘Even in the deepest sinking there is the hidden purpose of an ultimate rising. Thus it is for all men, from none is the source of light withheld unless he himself withdraws from it. Therefore the most important thing is not to despair.’

– Hasidic saying


‘I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.’

Helen Keller


‘Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.’

– Helen Keller


‘Adversity is the trial of principle. Without it a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not.’

– Henry Fielding


‘Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.’ 

– Henry J. Kaiser


‘I’m very grateful that I was too poor to get to art school until I was 21. … I was old enough when I got there to know how to get something out of it.’

– Henry Moore


‘How sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong.’ 

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


‘Forget the times of your distress, but never forget what they taught you.’ 

– Herbert Gasser


‘Necessity is often the spur to genius.’

 – Honore de Balzac


‘Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.’

– Horace


‘Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.’

– Horace


‘When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.’ 

– Hugh Prather


‘An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain – the equality of all men.’

– Ignazio Silone


‘I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.’

– Isak Dinesen


‘Opposition inflames the enthusiast, never converts him.’ 

– J. C. F. von Schiller


‘I would never have amounted to anything were it not for adversity. I was forced to come up the hard way.’

– J. C. Penney


‘I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.’

 – Jack Benny


‘[A difficult childhood gave me] a kind of cocky confidence. … I could never have so little that I hadn’t had less. It took away my fear.’

– Jacqueline Cochran


‘I think my biggest achievement is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane. I’m proud of that.’

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


‘Mistakes are often the best teachers.’ 

– James A. Froude


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‘Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.’

James Baldwin


‘Everybody’s heart is open, you know, when they have recently escaped from severe pain, or are recovering the blessing of health.’

Jane Austen


‘All sorts of spiritual gifts come through privations, if they are accepted.’

– Janet Erskine Stuart


‘I think the years I have spent in prison have been the most formative and important in my life because of the discipline, the sensations, but chiefly the opportunity to think clearly, to try to understand things.’

Jawaharlal Nehru


‘Even if misfortune is only good for bringing a fool to his senses, it would still be just to deem it good for something.’

– Jean de la Fontaine


‘Life begins on the other side of despair.’ 

Jean-Paul Sartre


‘I have brightness in my soul, which strains toward Heaven. I am like a bird!’ – Jenny Lind


‘Our trials are tests; our sorrows pave the way for a fuller life when we have earned it.’

– Jerome P. Fleishman


‘Suffering is also one of the ways of knowing you’re alive.’ 

– Jessamyn West


‘It is somehow reassuring to discover that the word “travel” is derived from “travail,” denoting the pains of childbirth.’

– Jessica Mitford


‘We only think when we are confronted with a problem.’ 

John Dewey


‘If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.’

– John Heywood


‘A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man; it is what he wants and must have to be good for anything. Hardship and opposition are the native soil of manhood and self-reliance.’

– John Neal


‘Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.’

– John Patrick


‘When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.’

– Jonathan Swift


‘The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.’

– Jose Ortega y Gasset


‘Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist – it reduces him to his fighting weight.’

– Josh Billings


‘Of all the advantages which come to any young man … poverty is the greatest.’ 

– Josiah G. Holland


‘Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.’

– Kahlil Gibran


‘When I was very young, I tried selling used cars. It didn’t last long. I guess that was my good luck too, that I didn’t show more promise at it, or I might have been an automobile dealer.’

– King Vidor


‘My luck was my father not striking oil… we’d have been rich. I’d never have set out for Hollywood with my camera, and I’d have had a lot less interesting life.’

– King Vidor


‘It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.’ 

– Kossuth


‘I think hearts are very much like glasses – if they do not break with the first ring, they usually last a considerable time.’

– L. E. Landon


‘Supporting myself at an early age was the best training for life I could have possibly received.’

– Lea Thompson


‘The most valuable gift I ever received was … the gift of insecurity … my father left us. My mother’s love might not have prepared me for life the way my father’s departure did. He forced us out on the road, where we had to earn our bread.’

– Lillian Gish


‘What we want is never simple.’ 

– Linda Pastan


‘Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.’

– Lou Holtz


‘Men strive for peace, but it is their enemies that give them strength, and I think if man no longer had enemies, he would have to invent them, for his strength only grows from struggle.’

– Louis L’Amour


‘Enemies can be an incentive to survive and become someone in spite of them. Enemies can keep you alert and aware.’

– Louis L’Amour


‘Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems … create our courage and wisdom.’

– M. Scott Peck


‘By becoming more unhappy, we sometimes learn how to be less so.’ 

– Madame Swetchine


‘In my youth, poverty enriched me, but now I can afford wealth.’ 

– Marc Chagall


‘It is grief that develops the powers of the mind.’ 

– Marcel Proust


‘We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.’ 

– Marcel Proust


‘The good things that belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.’

– Marcus Annaeus Seneca


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‘Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.’ 

– Marcus Annaeus Seneca


‘Fire is the test of gold, adversity of strong men.’ 

– Marcus Annaeus Seneca


‘Nothing befalls a man except what is in his nature to endure.’

Marcus Aurelius


‘I have always fought for ideas – until I learned that it isn’t ideas but grief, struggle, and flashes of vision which enlighten.’

– Margaret Anderson


‘Troubles cured you salty as a country ham, smoky to the taste, thick-skinned and tender inside.’

– Marge Piercy


‘If you have been sunned through and through like an apricot on a wall from your earliest days, you are oversensitive to any withdrawal of heat.’

– Margot Asquith


‘We say: mad with joy. We should say: wise with grief.’ 

– Marguerite Yourcenar


‘Life can be real tough … you can either learn from your problems, or keep repeating them over and over.’

Marie Osmond


‘Some knowledge and some song and some beauty must be kept for those days before the world again plunges into darkness.’

– Marion Zimmer Bradley


‘A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one.’

– Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


‘Necessity is the mother of “taking chances.”‘ 

Mark Twain


‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

Martin Luther King, Jr.


‘I think there is this about the great troubles – they teach us the art of cheerfulness; whereas the small ones cultivate the industry of discontent.’

– Mary Adams


‘Sorrow has its reward. It never leaves us where it found us.’ 

– Mary Baker Eddy


‘Experience may be hard but we claim its gifts because they are real, even though our feet bleed on its stones.’

 – Mary Parker Follett


‘The pain of love is the pain of being alive. It is a perpetual wound.’ 

– Maureen Duffy


‘A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.’

– Mildred W. Struven


‘Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.’ 

– Minna Antrim


‘The thought that we are enduring the unendurable is one of the things that keeps us going.’

– Molly Haskell


‘A woman is like a tea bag: you never know her strength until you drop her in hot water.’

Nancy Reagan


‘Time engraves our faces with all the tears we have not shed.’ 

– Natalie Clifford Barney


‘Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.’

 – Oscar Wilde


‘It is the north wind that lashes men into Vikings; it is the soft, luscious south wind which lulls them to lotus dreams.’

– Ouida


‘A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted; the ocean is not made muddy by the falling in of its banks.’

– Panchatantra


‘Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.’

Patti Smith


‘They merit more praise who know how to suffer misery than those who temper themselves in contentment.’

– Pietro Aretino


‘Prosperity tries the fortunate; adversity the great.’ 

– Pliny the Younger


‘From their errors and mistakes, the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.’

– Plutarch


‘Prosperity provideth, but adversity proveth friends.’ 

– Queen Elizabeth I


‘People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.’

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.’

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘The effects of opposition are wonderful. There are men who rise refreshed on hearing of a threat, men to whom a crises, which intimidates and paralyzes the majority, comes as graceful and beloved as a bride!’

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint.’ 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘When a man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits … he has gained facts, learned his ignorance, is cured of the insanity of conceit, has got moderation and real skill.’

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


‘Pain, indolence, sterility, endless ennui have also their lesson for you.’

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


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‘Calamity is the test of integrity.’ 

– Richardson


‘There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.’

– Robert Alden


‘Americans are like a rich father who wishes he knew how to give his sons the hardships that made him rich.’

Robert Frost


‘Never complain about your troubles; they are responsible for more than half of your income.’

– Robert R. Updegraff


‘To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.’

– Roberta Flack


‘Every failure made me more confident. Because I wanted even more to achieve things, as revenge. To show that I could.’

Roman Polanski


‘This struggle of people against their conditions, this is where you find the meaning in life.’

– Rose Chernin


‘I’ve had an unhappy life, thank God.’ 

– Russell Baker


‘Your first big trouble can be a bonanza if you live through it. Get through the first trouble, and you’ll probably make it through the next one.’

– Ruth Gordon


‘Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.’

– Saint Rose of Lima


‘Necessity makes even the timid brave.’ 

– Sallust


‘In victory even the cowardly like to boast, while in adverse times even the brave are discredited.’

– Sallust


‘Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being free from flatterers.’

– Samuel Johnson


‘Adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is most beneficial to us.’

– Samuel Johnson


‘(Adversity is) the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free from admirers then.’

– Samuel Johnson


‘He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.’ 

– Samuel Johnson


‘Night brings our troubles to the light rather than banishes them.’

– Seneca


‘No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.’ 

– Seneca


‘Whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.’ 

– Septima Poinsette Clark


‘Pain is the root of knowledge.’ 

– Simone Weil


‘Disappointment is the nurse of wisdom.’ 

– Sir Boyle Roche


‘Adversity is, to me at least, a tonic and a bracer.’ 

– Sir Walter Scott


‘If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.’

– Solon


‘The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.’



‘From a fallen tree, all make kindling.’ 

– Spanish proverb


‘You can’t have more bugs than a blanketful.’ 

– Spanish proverb


‘He who serves God with what costs him nothing, will do very little service, you may depend on it.’

– Susan Warner


‘When things come to the worse, they generally mend.’ 

– Susanna Moodie


‘When one’s own problems are unsolvable and all best efforts are frustrated, it is lifesaving to listen to other people’s problems.’

– Suzanne Massie


‘If you have to be careful because of oppression and censorship, this pressure produces diamonds.’

– Tatyana Tolstaya


‘Don’t look forward to the day when you stop suffering. Because when it comes, you’ll know you’re dead.’

– Tennessee Williams


‘I have always been pushed by the negative…. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.’

– Tennessee Williams


‘The saints rejoiced at injuries and persecutions, because in forgiving them they had something to present to God when they prayed to Him.’

– Teresa of Avila


‘It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.’

– Teresa of Avila


‘The burden is equal to the horse’s strength.’ 

– The Talmud


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‘Restlessness is discontent, and discontent is the first necessity of progress.’ 

– Thomas A. Edison


‘We only really face up to ourselves when we are afraid.’ 

– Thomas Bernhard


‘Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.’

– Thomas Carlyle


‘The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.’

– Thomas Carlyle


‘Times of stress and difficulty are seasons of opportunity when the seeds of progress are sown.’

– Thomas F. Woodlock


‘Noble discontent is the path to heaven.’ 

– Thomas W. Higginson


‘Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job.’

– Victor Hugo


‘Difficulties, opposition, criticism – these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm and I begin to wonder what I should do about it.’

– Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit


‘You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.’ 

– Walt Schmidt


‘Constant success shows us but one side of the world; adversity brings out the reverse of the picture.’

– Walter Colton


‘Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.’

– Washington Irving


‘Things have got to be wrong in order that they may be deplored.’

 – Whitney Griswold


‘There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.’ 

– Willa Cather


‘Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.’ 

– William A. Ward


‘Remorse begets reform.’

 – William Cowper


‘Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.’

– William Ellery Channing


‘Too much happens … Man performs, engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That’s how he finds that he can bear anything.’

William Faulkner


‘Unless a man has been kicked around a little, you can’t really depend upon him to amount to anything.’ 

– William Feather


‘Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.’

– William Hazlitt


‘The same reason makes a man a religious enthusiast that makes a man an enthusiast in any other way: an uncomfortable mind in an uncomfortable body.’

– William Hazlitt


‘The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and victories of tomorrow.’

– William J. H. Boetcker


‘Be willing to have it so; acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.’

– William James


‘Men habitually use only a small part of the powers which they possess and which they might use under appropriate circumstances.’

– William James


‘It is from the level of calamities … that we learn impressive and useful lessons.’ 

– William Makepeace Thackeray


‘People don’t ever seem to realize that doing what’s right is no guarantee against misfortune.’

– William McFee


‘No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.’

– William Penn


‘Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.’

William Shakespeare


‘The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.’ 

– Woodrow Wilson


‘I have been in sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.’

– Zora Neale Hurston

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