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Examples And Benefits Of Adversity

In the last post, Experience is the best teacher. I explained the fact that adversity happens to all. Contrary to popular opinion, famous and wealthy people also experience turbulent times that could have derailed their upward trajectory. This post will look at some specific examples of famous people formed and molded in the furnace of adversity and people who persevered. They had failed before but refused to let those moments define them and enjoyed the benefits of adversity.

Walt Disney

The man who gave us Micky Mouse and other classic animations are known worldwide for his creativity and ability to create thrilling cartoons. However, many people are not aware of the story behind his success. Do you know that he was once sacked from the Kansas City Star? Why? His editor felt that he lacked the creativity and ideas needed to succeed at the top!

Of course, it sounds ridiculous. However, this is the truth. If you think this story is shocking, you need to wait until you hear more about this great man. Undeterred by his sack, he formed his first animation company in 1921 in Kansas City. He would ship his cartoons to a distribution company in New York and get paid six months later! Apparently, no company can survive on such a ridiculous arrangement.

He eventually closed the firm because he could not afford his rent and could barely feed himself. You are wondering how a man who encountered such challenges became nominated for 59 Academy Awards eventually? He knew within him that tough times don’t last forever and refused to give in even when the odds were stacked against him.

Walt Disney and Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

The next person on this list is the self-made billionaire – Oprah Winfrey. Her story is an inspiration to many people worldwide because she is an example of how adversity can make us stronger. She had many reasons to give up and believe that she wasn’t destined for the top. However, she didn’t give up and kept forging ahead.

She was born into a working-class family where poverty was the order of the day. Her mother gave birth to her while she was still in her teens. Unfortunately, Winfrey became pregnant when she was fourteen and gave birth to a child who died shortly after birth. It sounds all gloomy, and it was as if her life would only end in doom. Nonetheless, she had different ideas. She would go to school and became a journalist.

Things didn’t get better immediately despite her commendable efforts to improve her life. In one of her first jobs, the producer advised her to quit because she wasn’t cut out for television. However, she didn’t allow those negative words to get to her. She kept pushing. She has inspired many people around the world because of her sheer courage and determination to succeed.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest men in the world. However, the poster boy of Microsoft wasn’t always a success. He struggled to find his niche in the early part of his life before he eventually got it right. Gates started Traf-O-Data, a company created to generate reports for roadway engineers from raw traffic data. He started the company alongside two other people in the business. Nonetheless, things didn’t go as planned and expected.

They had to close the company when the machine built to process the data tanked upon presentation to a Seattle County traffic employee. However, Gates wasn’t deterred by this unfortunate situation. He decided to start from scratch by learning the lessons from his first experience. The lessons from his first failed attempt to build a company gave him the blueprint for one of the biggest companies in the world.

Bill Gates and Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders

The story of Colonel Sanders showed us that it’s never too late to start a global brand. Indeed, it’s always better to start early. However, Colonel Sanders proved that you could start a thriving business even at an old age. He started building his fast-food empire when he was already sixty-two years old! Yes! You read that correctly.

He was at a stage in his life when many would be enjoying their retirement or looking forward to it. Nonetheless, he decided to go against the status quo. He presented his chicken recipe to different restaurants. Reports have it that more than one thousand people rejected him. However, the colonel was resilient enough not to give up.

His determination eventually paid off when he found success with a restaurant outside Utah. The restaurant became the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. The company tripled its sales in a year thanks to the colonel’s chicken. Whenever you feel like giving up, remember the doggedness of this man and hang in there.

JK Rowling

Have you read or watched Harry Potter? The brain behind that story is JK Rowling. A tremendous success, isn’t she? However, when you find out what things were like for her before her breakthrough, you will appreciate her success more. JK Rowling had felt that she had written something so beautiful publishers would be scrambling to publish. Nonetheless, things weren’t the way she expected. She would submit the manuscript to twelve significant publishers, who all rejected it to her dismay and shock.

She wrote a fantastic book despite encountering challenges that would have made others quit writing for something they felt would be more lucrative. She was divorced and had a child to support by the time she finished the book’s first parts. During those hard times when the work was rejected, she could have felt that writing wasn’t her thing.
Nonetheless, she decided to try again. She submitted the manuscript a year later, and Bloomsbury accepted it. The company extended a small one thousand five hundred Euros. However, it turned out to be one of the best decisions the firm ever made.

JK Rowling and Stephen King

Stephen King

Even if you aren’t a fan of horror, the name Stephen King still rings a bell. He is a fantastic example of the success we can achieve when we choose to try again after several denials. King could have given up on one of his most remarkable work ever, Carie, if he had listened to the voice of critics who told him that his ideas were outlandish. He made a difference at a time when horror wasn’t in vogue.

His times weren’t like our days when it’s easier to publish books. King submitted the manuscript of Carie to thirty publishers, but they all turned him down. Think about it again. One, two, three, four… come on! Many people would have given up already. Interestingly, one of the publishers told King to forget about publishing the book because “negative utopias” don’t sell.

In fact, King had given up and thrown the manuscript into a bin. However, he gave it one more trial when his wife retrieved it and encouraged him to try one more time. It sounded ridiculous. Why will the thirty-first attempt be different from the first thirty? King listened to his wife, and the rest is history.

Why You Should Stand During Periods of Adversity

One thing is sure; difficult periods will never leave you the same way they met you. They will either break or make you. Regardless of the support, you get from the people around you. You have a vital role in ensuring that you come out stronger and not become vulnerable after the experience. There are some benefits you will enjoy when you choose to stay healthy during sad days. Here are some of them.

Greater Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after a setback. It’s a virtue many people don’t possess. Unfortunately for them, it’s a skill that everyone must possess because of the unpredictable nature of life. The topsy-turvy nature of life where you are smiling in the morning
and sad in the evening requires mental strength to stay healthy in the face of adversity. Only resilient people can weather the storm and still reach their destinations.

Lack of resilience is the reason people suffer from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. It’s also why some people feel that the best decision they could make during dark days is to take their lives. So, it’s crucial to build a resilient spirit. However, you can never achieve this feat when you have never had to weather the storm.

It’s adversity that trains you to be mentally healthy. When you face a challenge and come out on the other side in flying colors, you have increased your resilience level. This doesn’t mean that you should crave and desire to be in unpleasant situations. However, when you find yourself in one, see it as an opportunity to build mental strength for the future.

Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Just like resilience, problem-solving skills aren’t inherited. They are acquired as a result of facing and overcoming challenges. You cannot know how to solve a problem when you don’t have the right attitude. Your attitude is your mental disposition to a particular thing or situation that triggers a specific behavioral pattern. When you have the right attitude, you will believe that every problem has a solution, even when you don’t have the answers yet.

That positive state of mind will inspire you to ask the right questions from the right people and eventually find ways to solve the problem. Indeed, the right mindset will take you far. It will make you dogged and rugged. However, you cannot solve a problem unless you have the skills. You need to know how to tackle a challenge, and nothing gives you that better than when you have dealt with a similar problem in the past.

So, you have enhanced your ability to solve problems when you face a challenge and overcome it. You will be able to use the experience to solve similar problems in the future. You know what to do, which gives you an edge over others who are new to such situations.

Examples And Benefits Of Adversity

Leadership Skills

Leaders are chosen and trusted because of their experience and ability. No one wants to hire a person who has never driven a car before to be his or her driver. You want a person you can trust to get you to your destination with minimal stress. When you have faced adversity in the past and stood your ground, you’ll enhance your suitability as a leader. Naturally, people will want to trust you.

You’ll command their respect when they know that you have been through similar situations before and succeeded. Great leaders are men and women who can keep a calm head when there is a storm. They are the ones others trust as a source of inspiration when the chips are down. Everyone needs that leader to stir up optimism during the dark days when throwing in the towels seems like the obvious choice.

People always need people they can believe in. They want to believe in you. They want to be sure that you know what you are doing, even when what you say doesn’t make sense to them. It is the days of adversity that prepare you for such a sensitive role.

Higher Self-Esteem

Naturally, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment after overcoming a challenge. You’ll be proud of yourself, and this improves the way you see yourself. You will see yourself as a person who deserves respect and love because you can add value to their lives. When you have low self-esteem, you are likely to have low self-efficacy. Your self-efficacy is the level of confidence you have in your ability to succeed in a task before performing it.

When you have low self-esteem, people will find it difficult to trust you to handle their projects, which can also take its toll on your chances of getting a job. It will also make others not want to trust you to lead them. They will see you as a person who cannot lead themselves, so you should not talk of leading others. Low self-esteem can also affect your chances of making new friends, which can be socially damaging.


When you have never been through what others have been through, you’ll find it difficult to empathize with them. There is no level of understanding you can have that can be the same as a person who has lost his or her loved one before. If you have never had that kind of experience, you cannot fully grasp what such people are going through.

The world is full of many destructive critics today who are either hypocrites or lack the understanding of what others are going through. Some football pundits who have never coached any football club before are fond of making damaging remarks about current coaches. It’s easy for them to judge others because they don’t know what it means to try to make over twenty people do what you want while keeping them happy.

When you have been through tough times, you will relate well with people going through such periods of their lives. You’ll not tell them to move on from the situation. You’ll have words of encouragement for them. If you are their boss, you’ll not have issues with giving them days off to recover emotionally from the shock.

Lower Anxiety

Some people have a culture of being calm and collected even when they are facing extremely challenging situations. You expect them to break down and shed tears, but they seem unmoved by the problem they are facing. In most cases, such people have an experience of being in such situations in the past. They are hurt, but they know that they don’t have to make decisions they will regret later due to how they feel at that moment.

Such people exude confidence and transmit tranquillity that is often shocking. In some cases, they are the ones that will be encouraging the people that have come to console them. This commendable and exemplary state of mind comes from facing different unpleasant situations and choosing to move on. You can also acquire this mental state when choosing to focus on the positives when going through stormy periods.

Giving up or standing up is all about making a choice. When you experience setbacks, the clear choice is throwing in the towel and telling all who cares to listen about your predicaments. However, the good news is that you have another option. You can choose to look at the brighter side and forge ahead. It is never over until you say so.

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