How to Use Adversities to Propel Yourself Forward


by Richard Saldan



I do not quite remember who said this but one of the most familiar quotes which I found nearly everywhere I went when I was getting into college was ‘when the going is tough, the tough gets going’. Impossible, as it seemed to me then, the saying was in picture frames, was hung behind doors in toilets, was visible as coasters on office tables, on T shirts and even on glasses which they served soda pop in. As life rolled by and I grew up, got a job and life was slowly unfolding, Microsoft happened and the world found Bill Gates. It was then that I chanced upon another quote, thought up by one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time: “If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.”  By this time I had the sense to understand what ‘tough times’ actually mean and what it meant when they said that the tough must get going. I was employed, you see!


Today, after many years of doing the corporate grind and witnessing enough number of ‘tough times’ as well as happy rolling times, I am wiser if not tougher. I realize that tough times are just another passing phase, without which we would never realize what good times are! All it needs is to develop that inner resilience so that no ‘tough time’ can dare to remain with us for too long. Tough times can be of both external and internal origin: War, economic depression, fuel crisis, global warming, deterioration of social law or order are some of the many tough times the modern society has to bear. Job loss, death of spouse or a close friend, illness, surmounting debt, unfavorable personal or professional life, etc are some of the ‘tough times’ of internal origin which can throw our lives completely out of gear. As this analysis shows, there are some adverse situations which happen in our lives which are beyond our control, except perhaps to minimize consumption and take care of our self and families to the best of our abilities. But when depression, insomnia, irritability, loss of self-confidence, and such ills affect us because we have fallen victims of  those tough times where we were mere victims of circumstances, then the responsibility lies squarely on our shoulders to come out of it with head held high.


The greatness of human mind is such that we are capable of training our mind to take any action that we truly desire to take. For instance, to stay motivated during tough times, you could possibly take any of the three actions:


  • Accept it and try to improve the situation as much as you can. For example, change of job, change of city, change of partner, improving on your health, etc.


  • By pass the ‘toughness’ of the situation and concentrate on more positive aspects of life. For instance, if changing job, partner, city etc is not possible with your current situation, remember this is not the end of the world. Life throws up amazing opportunities which enable us to glide over any difficult situation with fortitude, grace and intelligent living strategies.


  • Swim along with the times. Especially when the tough times are caused by people or forces which are not within your direct line of control. Believe in the saying that every cloud has a silver lining. As someone said, “You will look back on the times you laughed and you will cry. You will look back on the times you cried, and you will laugh.” Nothing can be truer than this.


If you have the will to take tough times in your stride, you could come out of it with flying colors. It could take some effort on your part though. For instance, when tough times are around, you would often meet people who are perennial doomsayers. Ignore such company and meet positive and optimistic people. The company of children has a tremendous therapeutic effect during such times. These innocent souls can actually make you forget many hurting and negative things which happen to our lives. You would also meet many people who are victims of such times, who crib, quarrel and generally spread a lot of bad blood around. As you ignore them, simultaneously start to list out activities or people who make you feel good. Take extra initiatives to do those activities and meet such confident and enthusiastic people. If possible, remain surrounded by them, till you have come out of the phase valiantly. While coping with tough times, the important thing to do is to believe in your inner strengths and your core competencies and take this time to build them even stronger.


When I first heard someone say that all good things come to an end, I felt horribly sad. But today I know that even all bad things come to an end. And that nudges me to move on.  



Richard Saldan is a motivational speaker and master magician. His programs will rivet your audience with proven strategies for greater success. People who have enrolled in Richard’s seminars give consistently high ratings because he is enthusiastic, energizing and inspires people to live to the fullest. For extraordinary results, visit:








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