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  • Jennifer Cruse


Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Webster's dictionary defines adversity as a difficult or unpleasant situation. And I bet if you were to ask any one of the 100+ billion people who have lived on this earth if they've faced adversity in their lives, they would agree they have.

The fact is that everyone gets down by life sometimes.

I would be lying if I said that the past few years have been easy for me. Reflecting on the start of the pandemic to where we arE now, I've come to understand that in life, adversity is not only inevitable but also necessary if we wish to become our best selves.

If you happen to be going through a rough time right now, I'm here to offer you a bit of comfort. I hope the movie clips and reminders below will help you get through the week a little smoother.

1. Challenges remind you that you’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”Randy Pausch

Most of us have a tendency to underestimate ourselves and our capabilities, especially when we are facing brick walls. And tough times, whether we like it or not, force us to respond in ways beyond what we thought was possible.

They serve as a reminder that much of the limitations that we think we have been in fact – invalid. Sometimes, it takes moments where were up against the wall to find out what were truly capable of.

In one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, Rocky Balboa shares how he's got through life's difficult times.

2. Adversity teaches us gratitude and compassion.

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” ― Robin Williams

The truth of the matter is that we often don’t really know what we have (and fully appreciate it) until it’s gone or taken away from us. Times of struggle often open our eyes to the simple joys and things that really matter, which we previously might have taken for granted. The experience of having gone through pain and defeat can also help us to better relate and be more compassionate to others.

In the movie 'Patch Adams' we see how far the main character will go to help treat his patients even if it costs him his career.

3. Challenges clarify what you truly want in life.

When you find yourself struggling in the professional sphere – whether it is feeling miserable at your job or finding it difficult to land that new “ideal” opportunity, it forces you to re-evaluate how you want your life to play out.

If you allow it, these negative circumstances can help you to clarify what it is you’re actually passionate about. Better yet, it can be the push you need to throw caution to the wind and finally start living life on your own terms.

I think the movie, 'The Pursuit of Happiness' depicts this sentiment perfectly.

4. Challenges sharpen your grit

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Haruki Murakami

It’s not a rarity that highly successful people credit their resilience and persistence as one of the main reasons to their immense success. Rather than seeing defeats & disappointments as hindrances to their growth, they wholeheartedly believe that their past failures were the fuel they needed to propel them to greatness.

People who are never challenged in life don’t have the opportunity to learn how to overcome adversity, a crucial element to develop coping strategies, character, and strength.

As a result, they would often find themselves giving up far too easily when the going gets tough compared to those who have learned to embrace challenges and use it to their advantage.

In 'Remember the Titans' we see how this narrative plays out.

5. Challenges make your achievements even sweeter

“Success is sweet and sweeter if long-delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.”

– Amos Bronson Alcott

The greatest view comes after the greatest climb. I personally found this to be true. It becomes all too easy to take everything for granted when they things are handed to us on a silver platter. I believe that achievements, triumphs, and victories become that much more valuable and remarkable when you had to jump through hoops to get to the finish line. A movie that depicts this perfectly is 'Rudy'. Here is one of my favorite scenes below from the movie.

Final Thoughts

Remember that when the going gets tough, life is presenting you with a big opportunity for growth and progress. You got this!


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