In times of great difficulty, when it’s hard to move forward or even summon the reasons to get up in the morning, there is some comfort. That comfort comes from what we still control.
We often discount the role luck has in our successes, believing them wholly earned — something bought and paid for with sweat and persistence. This can leave us angry and unprepared for our failures, leaving us feeling as if we’ve been robbed or cheated. In reality, our lives should make the best of both work and luck.
Of course, that does little to ease the sting of loss or unfairness. The only remedy for that, the only salve that works, is strength. It’s a steady regimen of putting one foot in front of the other.
Let these wise words on strength and resilience serve as your balm and inspiration — and help you on your long road forward.
1Embrace The Fear
“There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realised. … It’s not easy, but your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.… Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” – Conan O’Brien, talk show host, during a 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth
2Accept Your Reality
“One year and 13 days ago, I lost my husband, Dave. His death was sudden and unexpected.… A few weeks after Dave died, I was talking to my friend Phil about a father-son activity that Dave was not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave.’ Phil put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’ We all at some point live some form of option B. The question is: What do we do then?” – Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, during a 2016 commencement speech at the University of California at Berkeley.
“If you focus on perfection, you may never get out of the gate since you’ll fear falling short of that. Even in diving, the definition of a score of 10 is excellent, not perfect.”— Greg Louganis, Olympic diver, in an article on Entrepreneur.com
“Be hard core.… Hard core means tenacious. Hard core means long-term. Hard core means determined. I don’t care what you do, you’re going to have to be patient and industrious and really stay after things.… You’re going to have to be determined and long-term.”— Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, during a 2014 commencement at the University of Washington
5Listen To Reason
“I listen to motivational tapes and my favourite is an early series by Wayne Dyer, How to Be a No-Limit Person. When I was 16, I saw my good friend get run over by a car and killed. Around the same time, my parents separated, and my dad handed me that series, and said, ‘I wish someone gave this to me when I was your age instead of having to discover it when I was 40.’ I memorised all ten tapes. It’s my go-to gift for people I care about.” — Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, during an interview with Entrepreneur
Related: 5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba
6Take Chances On Yourself
“When you’re doing what you love to do, you become resilient, because that’s the habit you create for yourself. You create a habit of taking chances on yourself and making bold choices in service to doing what you love.”— Dick Costolo, former Twitter CEO, during a 2013 commencement at the University of Michigan
7Change Your Story
“Strategies don’t change you. Implementation does. And people don’t implement because they have a missing story or at worst they have a disempowering story, a belief that says, ‘I’ve tried everything.’ So, I tell people, ‘Divorce your story and marry the truth.’ You find the truth by finding someone who is getting the results you want and finding out what they believe. And you’ll find their beliefs are radically different from your own.”— Tony Robbins, author and speaker in an interview with Entrepreneur
“Obstacles move in and park themselves on your chest. They’re there to kill your spirit and take your confidence, and you need to spot them coming through the door and shoot them [and] not let them hang out. I didn’t know that back then and could have easily lost my business. When my boyfriend left me, I gave it way too much thought, and as I analysed what went wrong, what I lacked, how the business would not survive and what people would think, I lost my confidence. There were solutions all around as there always are, but I couldn’t see them. I’ve since learnt that you need to treat obstacles just like opportunity — quickly without much thought and move on.” – Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and Shark Tank host, in an interview with Entrepreneur about a breakup with a boyfriend who was also her co-founder and first investor
9Connect With Others
“Instinctively and maybe even genetically, we divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ So the burning question must be: How do all of us together find the ‘we?’”— Steven Spielberg, director, during a 2016 Harvard University 2016 Commencement address
10Let Yourself Grow
“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” – J.K. Rowling, author, on being a jobless divorced single mother seven years after her college graduation, in a commencement speech.
11Remember: Setbacks Are Natural
“At some point you are bound to stumble because if you’re constantly doing what we do, raising the bar; pushing yourself higher, higher than the law of averages, not to mention the Myth of Icarus, which predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”— Oprah Winfrey on the challenges of starting OWN, during a 2013 commencement address at Harvard
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.