How to Turn Hardship into Triumph
You’ve probably heard the cliche, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Well, this saying is a cliche for a reason. The fact is that there are more than two possible outcomes when you face hardships in your life. This saying also fails to acknowledge the power we each have in how we respond to hardships. We cannot always avoid the difficulties life throws at us, but we can choose our responses to them. It is our responses that often determine how those hardships shape us. 

I know a man, I’ll call him “Steve,” who is serving a life sentence in prison. He’s been in prison a long time, for more than thirty years. Steve is one of the most miserable people I’ve ever met. He is angry all of the time, highly critical of nearly everyone he meets, and the stress he subjects himself to is affecting his health. On one hand I feel bad for Steve because the misery of prison and the hopelessness he feels in spending the rest of his life here is a heavy burden to bear. But on the other hand, I feel sorry for him because he’s chosen to respond to his toughest hardship in such a way that it has already stolen his life from him. He has surrendered his power to the hardship. 

Another man I know, I’ll call him “Rob,” is also serving a life sentence in prison. He’s been in prison longer than Steve, over forty years. But Rob has chosen to face his hardship differently. He quietly maintains a few healthy relationships with people outside of prison, takes care of his health while in prison, raises a Leader Dog puppy for the blind, and is generally kind to others around him. Rob’s burden is not much different than Steve’s, but his chosen response has cultivated a positive mindset, and his life is better for it. 

Each of us, like these men, have the power to choose our responses to hardship. We don’t always respond well, but here are a few suggestions that have helped me respond to hardship so that I am made better by it:

1. Start with faith–it helps if you truly believe that God has a plan for your life, even if you’ve “messed up” that plan with your choices. Cultivating faith in your life also feeds hope for a better tomorrow. Prayer helps too.

2. Be careful who you listen to–misery loves company, so if you want to avoid being miserable, stay away from miserable people. Listen to faith-filled, hopeful people who will encourage your desire to make the best out of difficult circumstances. 

3. Remember that others are broken too–it’s easy to expect better of others around us, but they have their own hardships too. A kind response to a miserable person costs you little or nothing, but it can make the difference in the rest of your day (and possible theirs too!).

4. Look for potential in every hardship–some hardships are nearly impossible to see any good in, but your response to those hardships makes all the difference. Think of people like Malala Yousafzai, the young Afghan girl who was shot in the face and who turned tragedy into triumph. Not only has she been an inspiration to thousands of people through her tragedy, but her life has incredible meaning now. 


I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get this right all the time. Sometimes I find myself discouraged with my circumstances. Sometimes the hardships get the best of me. But I have hope for a better future, and achieving that hope starts right now. It means living that hope today, even in the midst of tough times.

Go to Source
Author: Bryan Noonan
The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.

The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.
Leave a comment.