Life’s stress doesn’t have to get the best of you

Joseph "New New" Adkins
May 19, 2009
Irene Marie Deroche Lajaunie
May 22, 2009

Last week, I offered practical advice for dealing with today’s stressful situations. I would like to continue this theme using the wisdom of various prominent people.

When life is not going the way we had hoped, we can always turn a bad situation into something positive. Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. … We must do that which we think we cannot.”

Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey adds, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.'” And Sir Winston Churchill is emphatic when he says, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never. Never – in anything great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

Sometimes we have to change direction in life. Catherine Marshall tells us, “Often God has to shut a door in our face so that God can subsequently open the door through which he wants us to go.” Dr. Michael McGriffy adds, “Blessed a flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” And Dr. Deepak Chopra reminds us to seek inner peace, “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside you.”

President Calvin Coolidge emphasized the importance of persistence. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not – nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not – unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press on’ has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.”

Carlton Young encourages us when we fail, “Our society is so caught up in winning, we forget that most of the great men and women in history have, at one time or another, failed at something – often repeatedly, and discouragingly. But each failure is nothing more than a brick in the wall that forms the foundation of our success. We can’t forget that.” Maya Angelou adds, “You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.”

In the midst of discouraging news, we have to be positive. A few greedy people brought on our present financial crisis. In the midst of her suffering in a concentration camp, Anne Frank could say, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Popular writer Zig Ziglar echoes those sentiments, “Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best show, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.”

We must also be a positive influence on others. Richard De Vos advises us, “Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push – a smile, a word of optimism and hope, a ‘you can do it’ – when things are tough.”

Brian Tracy reminds us, “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

Anne Lamott tells how God fits into the changes we have to make in life. She says, “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.” We live in a difficult time. However, God’s grace can pull us through anything.