Maybe you haven’t thought about it, but life’s triumphs and tragedies often arise from the same situations. When circumstances make it more likely that the worst will happen, there can be just as much possibility for the best to happen.

Many years ago my father gave me one of the best pieces of advice that anyone has ever given me when he said, “nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems, so make the most of it.” It took me a while to figure out what Paul Harvey referred to as “the rest of the story.” It never has to be as bad as it seems, because you have the opportunity to respond to it.

Stephen Hawking, the famed British theoretical physicist who contracted ALS at age 21, said “…it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in.”

What are the things that are troubling you the most today? Somehow there is a way to transform those difficulties into wonderful accomplishments.  Stephen Hawking, who is wheelchair bound with many ALS-caused ailments, said, “If one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well.”

It’s mostly up to you and how you respond – will you accept tragedy or chose triumph?

Certainly, Dr. Hawking is a shining example of dealing with adversity. Thankfully, most of us don’t have those obstacles to overcome. The very factors that hold the majority of us back also provide us with ways to move forward. All that’s needed is to look at them with an eye for positive possibilities, and you will see them in a new and empowering light.

There is never any reason to be a victim of your circumstances. You can always choose to rise above them. Just take Dr. Hawking as a example. It’s amazing to consider all that he’s accomplished since contracting ALS.

In times of trouble, it’s easy to exaggerate the severity of the situation. In general, things are not as serious as it seems. Yes, there are times when you might be in deep trouble or facing a seeming insurmountable challenge. But by and large, it’s just not that serious. No matter how bad things get, the sun will rise tomorrow. That’s the nice thing about days. You get a new one every day. If yesterday was as bad as it could get, just try again today.  If today goes poorly, there’s always tomorrow.

Persist through it all and eventually, you’ll end up on top. Remember, nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. It’s mostly how we respond that determines whether we succeed or fail – triumph or tragedy depends a lot on your response.

Think about it…