Learning from the Hard Times

I was in Washington recently and was inspired by spending time at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial and reflecting on the difficulties that he faced early in his life.

I also share a story about a poor villager, his horse and the wise man: “It may be good, it may be bad”.

6 responses to “Learning from the Hard Times”

  1. i am a cancer survivor. this, why me question was raised by one of my friends – he told me not to think in those lines , which i had never thought of anyway , and from that moment i had decided it is not why me, but good to have a good break from my routine and relax ( i had plenty of other issues to tackle also – finances for the treatment – i am a middle class -a wife and a school going kid – the job front) and do all possible things the oncologists recommended. one doctor even asked me not to ask all kind of questions to my oncologist , since she felt, she had a good point, stating that they themselves don’t have all the clues, which made me think and realised the probability of survival is not ontrol, so chill out !!
    but conor, with all the strength gained from this fight could do little to help me when one & a half years back i lost my job – i didn’t do anything warranting it – and was seeing stars. i survived that also by landing another job by the skin of my teeth. my perception is that be prepared for the next blow (any kinda blow) anytime and u need take everything in ur stride whether u like it or not. a kind of zapped reality. i am categorised as a very cool person(iceberg – according to another comment 🙂 by the folks around me, even before my life threatening episode. so maybe u need to be only cooool man – maybe a new management thought. more theories on how to b cooool later

    1. Dear Arun, I have spent many years speaking to people about the way that the ups and downs of life have affected their sense of well-being. It is not the blow itself that contributes to the scale of the devastation…

      In the western world, we have taken on an American idea that “you can be anything you want to be” – this means that you are in complete control of your work, and that your net worth, your current job, your achievements are a representation of the quality of you as a person. “you can be anything you want to be” is a lie… You can try, but you depend on many, many factors outside your control. The belief though is quite widespread – a belief that a good job means I am a good person, no job means I am a bad person (or not a valid person).

      A mountaineer that climbs Everest is a success at the summit and when they come back down. A retired CEO is not a failed CEO, he is still the person with all the experience and talent that he had when he was CEO.

  2. Wow, this is so inspiring Conor and right when I need it. Those are so relatable and it speaks life in general. Not only do we have to focus in one thing but to see things and a deeper way, we must perceive that a certain circumstances should not allow one to hold back but to discover what’s in store in it, we should also keep a positive outlook in life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Bernadette. I am glad it served you at just the right moment 😉

  3. Hi Conor, that was very inspiring. Joan Manuel Serrat, the singer, who was diagnosed cancer a few years ago, said that what matters in life is not what it happens to you but how you face it. I still remember when I saw the interview on tv a few years ago, it caused a great impact on me.

    1. Beautiful story… I had just mentioned Serrat to a person today when I was talking about how I learnt spanish… I listened to a lot of Serrat, Ana Belen, Victor Manuel 😉

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