Lesson 71: Adversity really does build character

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, April 29, 2010

Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories.

Billy Graham

Everyone faces problems in life and some of them are major, life-altering events. When they come, you will somehow have to find the strength to face them down (Lesson 56).

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Lets review some character traits that prepare you for the tough times:

Youll need persistence, like Wilma Rudolph had (57). Youll need the kind of determination that allowed Thomas Edison to keep his head up through years of failure (58).

Youll need to practice consistency in your behavior, so that youll know what to expect of yourself when challenged (59). Practice the art of grace under pressure so that youll be able to keep a cool head when the pressure is on (60).

Practice doing the right thing whether anyones looking or not (61). Be honest, even when its hard (62). Understand that there will be many times when youll be afraid; believe that you will find the courage to face and overcome the fear (63).

Believe in yourself (64). Even if you dont have confidence, act as if you do; you may be surprised to find that real confidence will soon follow (65). No matter how bad things get, never give in to self-pity (66).

They say practice makes perfect. Go ahead and over-prepare; it can well mean the difference between failure and success (67).

Always try to look on the bright side. Optimism helps see you through hard times and is almost indispensable in achieving success (68).

In the midst of a cynical world, you must be willing to place trust in others, even when it requires a leap of faith (69).

Despite your best efforts, misfortune sometimes strikes. When it does, you may be able to do no better than to accept your fate and get on with your life (70).

Next time well discuss some commonsense tips for making your everyday life a little better.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.