“A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins 

Overcoming Adversity and Defeat

by Chris Nelson-Jeffers

Every adversity, every set-back, and every defeat or failure contains within it a seed of equivalent or greater benefit.

Defeat may be a stepping-stone, or a stumbling block, according to your mental attitude and how you relate yourself to it.

Defeat is never the same as failure, unless and until it is accepted as such.

Many of the failures we experience are actually only a temporary defeat, that may ultimately prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Your mental attitude regarding defeat is the most important factor that will ultimately determine whether you rise with the tides of fortune, or fall from the burdens of misfortune.

You just can’t beat someone who won’t give up.


  1. Individual success usually comes in exact proportion to the scope of defeat the individual has experienced and mastered;
  2. The worst that can happen to you may be the best thing to happen to you, if you don’t let that thing get the best of you.


“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your goal.” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich


Pessimism or Optimism?

Motivational speaker and writer William Arthur Ward said:

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts his sails.”

An attitude of pessimism rarely serves anyone well.

An attitude of optimism enables you to persevere through tough times, and to reap the rewards abandoned by the pessimists who quit too easily and too soon.

Optimism alone however is rarely enough. You have to act. You must learn to adapt to the circumstances of the moment to keep yourself moving toward the goal that the optimist in you knows you can and will achieve.

You must learn to position your sails so that the winds of opportunity will carry you to your goal of success.

It is those who have the paradoxical combination of optimism tempered with realism who will achieve the extraordinary.

The Law of Compensation

There is an old folk song about a thirsty traveler who comes across a pump in the desert.

An attached note explains that there is a jar of water buried nearby to prime the pump.

You’ve got to give before you get, the note says.

It is up to the traveler to decide whether to drink the water from the jar, or take a chance that the small amount of water invested and the effort required to dig it up will result in an unlimited supply of cold, clear water.

So it is with going the extra mile. You have to give before you get.

You cannot expect to receive generous rewards and then to decide what to give in return. You must give of yourself freely and completely and have faith that the rewards will eventually come, if you also undertake the steps required to obtain what  you want.

The farmer must first prepare the soil, plan the seed, cultivate the land and wait for the harvest. A fisherman must venture forth onto the sea then bait his hook or cast his  net. Even the hunter must track and pursue his prey.

A clergyman Frank Crain said, “You may be deceived and disappointed if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.”

When you start giving out, you’ll soon begin taking in. Go the extra mile and give everything your all, every day.




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