Tough times never last (but tough people do !) | Sunday Observer

Tough times never last (but tough people do !)

During my young days, Gregory Peck was my favourite Hollywood film star. He started his career in the mid 40s and continued his popularity until the late 90s. This extraordinary character popped into my mind when I was going through a book written by Gary Fishgall titled, “Gregory Peck: A Biography.”

Gregory Peck was well-known not only for his superb acting but also for his inspiring quotes. All quotes had deep meanings but, one caught my special attention: - “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. The quote made me ask myself two questions: What is the secret ingredient of tough people that enables them to succeed? How do they survive the tough times when others sink?


Look around you. Everyone faces disappointments in life, both, large and small. Unfortunately, many choose to sit around and complain or whine about their problems. Of course, it is certainly important to acknowledge your disappointments and not just ignore them. But, how do you do it effectively, without being a nag to everyone else? The answer lies in learning constructive ways to acknowledge disappointments. Psychologists say, disappointments can help build up character and patience if you allow it to do so. Learning to deal with your disappointments constructively can make you a stronger person in the end.

Here are a few tips:

1. Acknowledge what you are feeling. You can honestly express the emotions you are experiencing without blaming others. Always be respectful, but do not be afraid to let your family know precisely how you feel. If you do not voice your opinion, you will begin to harbour resentment and eventually stress yourself out.

2. Keep things in the right perspective. Even the tiniest of disappointments can seem monumental at first. But, once you have expressed your hurt, frustration, or anger, take a step back and look at the larger picture. Ask yourself: “How much of an effect is this disappointment going to have on me tomorrow, next week, or next year?” Do not answer immediately.

Take a few deep breaths and go for a walk to get some space and time to help find the answer and put your disappointment into its proper perspective. Taking time to reflect and step away from a situation will help calm your nerves so that you will be better able to handle the disappointment.

3. Do not doubt yourself. Sometimes, disappointment can make you feel like a total failure. You may wonder why these things “keep” happening to you, and strangely, to you only. It is not the truth. Do not allow yourself to give in to these negative thoughts! Everyone has had disappointments at some point in their lives. Instead of beating yourself up, think about what you could have done differently, and always learn from the experience.

4. Look for solutions or compromises. As the popular quote goes, you cannot have your way all the time. Yet, there will be a second option agreeable to each party. Again, take a few deep breaths, walk, take a shower, relax, and look for the “silver lining.”

5. Reassess and make adjustments, if necessary. Sometimes, when you experience disappointment, it may be a sign that you need to re-examine your priorities. Depending on the degree of disappointment you are facing, you may need to make minor or major changes to your life. Learn to be flexible. Refocusing your attention on your new goals will help you work through your disappointment.

But, do not give up!

Any person who has had even the smallest degree of success in life has faced some disappointment. Losers just don’t quit. They learn from their failures and move on to achieve their goals. You should not allow disappointment to lower your self-confidence. You can become your own biggest motivator! Never underestimate your mental power. Encourage yourself by repeating, “I can do this. I can make it right. I will get through this.

6. Believe in Murphy’s Law

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible time, all at once, when you least expect it. That is in essence what Murphy’s Law is about. One way to minimize future disappointments is to understand Murphy’s Law. This requires you to think about all the things that could potentially go wrong when moving forward, and come up with appropriate contingency plans that will help you to reduce the risk of disappointment, mistakes and potential failure. This, of course, isn’t a foul-proof strategy; however, it can certainly help you to make better decisions when you’re confronted with seemingly unexpected setbacks.

In the end, it’s not what happens to you that matters, but rather how you respond to the disappointments that life throws your way today, that will make all the difference tomorrow.

Personal tip

Let me give you one last personal tip.

Feeling stuck often comes with a side of procrastination because you may be afraid of being disappointed... again. You may feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing works or you’ve thought your way around this issue so many times, that you don’t even know what to do next.

The problem isn’t that you don’t know what to do, but it is likely that you are avoiding doing the thing that you know will help you break free. Whether you are procrastinating out of fear of disappointment, the unknown, or something else entirely, it’s time to stop.

Take a moment to listen to your intuition and take action. It might involve making a phone call, reaching out for help, or simply facing a situation you’ve been dreading for fear of how it might turn out.

Take action and watch the Universe work its magic to help support you in your cause. I promise it is the secret to breaking free from being stuck and creating a life you love. This plan worked for me.

In the final analysis, it is the tough people who survived and succeeded because they have learnt to reach positively to their predicament. They simply didn’t give up.