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Ralph Waldo EmersonCan anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Abraham LincolnNearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

Sigmund FreudOne day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

—  Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, founder of psychoanalysis

Joseph KennedyWhen the going gets tough, the tough get going.

—  Joseph Kennedy, 1888-1969, American businessman

Wilson MiznerLife's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest.

—  Wilson Mizner, 1876-1913, American playwright

HoraceA host is like a general: calamities often reveal his genius.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

Benjamin FranklinThat which hurts, also instructs.

—  Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

Winston ChurchillI have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Henry FordWhen everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

—  Henry Ford, 1863-1947, American industrialist, founder of FORD

NapoleonTo have a right estimate of a man's character, we must see him in misfortune.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Samuel JohnsonAdversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

NapoleonIn war, one must lean on an obstacle in order to overcome it.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Winston ChurchillDifficulties mastered are opportunities won.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Somerset MaughamWhen things are at their worst I find something always happens.

—  Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965, British writer

SenecaFire tries gold, misfortune tries brave men.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

SenecaDifficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

Samuel JohnsonTo strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Benjamin DisraeliThere is no education like adversity.

—  Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

Charles Caleb ColtonThe firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Francis BaconProsperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Francis BaconProsperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Charles de GaulleCharacter is the virtue of hard times.

—  Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970, French President

Charles de GaulleAdversity attracts the man of character. He seeks out the bitter joy of responsibility.

—  Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970, French President

G. K. ChestertonI believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic

La RochefoucauldIn the adversity of our best friends we often find something that is not exactly displeasing.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

Ernest HemingwayThe world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.

—  Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, American writer, Nobel 1954

Victor HugoAdversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.

—  Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

Karl JungMan needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.

—  Karl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Karl JungThe difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.

—  Karl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Sigmund FreudNeurosis is the incapacity to tolerate adversity.

—  Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, founder of psychoanalysis

Elbert HubbardWhen life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Eleanor RooseveltWomen are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.

—  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, American politician & wife of the 32nd USA president

Lou HoltzIt's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

Lou HoltzI've never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity.

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

Blaise PascalIn difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.

—  Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French thinker

Constantine KavafyLaistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

—  Constantine Kavafy, 1868-1933, Greek poet ‐ Ithaka

Ancient Greek

Bias of PrieneIt is misfortune not to be able to bear misfortune.

Ατυχή είναι τον ατυχίαν μη φέροντα.

—  Bias of Priene, 625-540 BC, Greek philosopher, one of the 7 sages of Ancient Greece


Chinese proverbThe gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.

—  Chinese proverb


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