by Steve Goodier
I’m told the story is true…A woman was giving birth to a baby in an elevator at a hospital. When she complained about the location, a nurse said, “Why, this isn’t so bad; last year a woman delivered her baby out on the front lawn.”
“Yes,” said the woman on the floor, “that was me, too.”
Who said, “If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all”? But, on the other hand, not all “bad luck” should be considered a bad thing! Like someone said, “When life gives you a kick, let it kick you forward.”
In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway learned something about “bad luck” and getting kicked by life. He was struggling to make his mark as an author when disaster struck. He lost a suitcase containing all his manuscripts — many stories he’d polished to jewel-like perfection — which he’d been planning to publish in a book.
According to Denis Waitley in his book EMPIRES OF THE MIND (William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995), the devastated Hemingway couldn’t conceive of redoing his work. All those months of arduous writing were simply wasted.
He lamented his predicament to friend and poet Ezra Pound who called it a stroke of good fortune! Pound assured Hemingway that when he rewrote the stories, he would forget the weak parts; only the best material would reappear. He encouraged the aspiring author to start over with a sense of optimism and confidence. Hemingway did rewrite the stories and eventually became one of the major figures in American literature.
Don’t pray for fewer problems, pray for more skills. Don’t ask for smaller challenges, ask for greater wisdom. Don’t look for an easy way out, look for the best possible outcome. When life gives you a kick, let it kick you forward.
Helen Keller: Lost her sight and hearing due to a mysterious fever when she was only 18 months old. She overcame her deafness and blindness to become a strong, educated woman who spoke about, and promoted, women’s rights.
Winston Churchill: Overcame a stuttering problem and poor performance in school to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and one of the most influential political leaders of the twentieth century. He was also known for his powerful and rousing speeches.
Wilma Rudolph: The Olympian born prematurely, the 20th of 22 children. She overcame double pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio to become winner of three Gold medals in track at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.
Lance Armstrong: Overcame testicular cancer which spread to the brain and lungs (he was told he had only a 40% chance of survival) to come back and win the Tour de France seven more times!
J.K. Rowling: Born to a poor family; left a bad marriage with a young baby to live on government assistance; wrote her first Harry Potter book and was turned down by most publishers until Bloomsbury Publishing picked it up. Need I say more?
Determination, resilience, and persistence enabled all of these great people to push past their adversities and prevail. If they could do it, surely the rest of us can summon the strength and courage to do overcome our adversities!
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