Tough times never last but tough people do

tough times never last but tough people do

A multitude of people are going through a tough time at the moment. When feeling hopeless, it’s important to remember that what’s not possible today may be possible tomorrow. Winston Churchill understood that nothing is impossible – the impossible only takes longer. He rallied the British people behind him, they went through hardship together but eventually succeeded:

The spirit of Churchill is described in a book  by Robert H. Schuller with the title “Tough times never last – But tough people do”.  Came across it  years ago in a bookstore in the United Arab Emirates. Loved the title so much I bought it. Unfortunately the book didn’t live up to its wonderful title. But “Tough times never last, but tough people do” – that ‘s how life works, isn’t it? No matter what happens you must never give up but keep on trying until you succeed. If not, you are doomed. You must build new bridges and move on. And that’s simply not possible if you start feeling sorry for yourself. Be strong, positive, innovative and courageous and it’s just a question of how long it takes before you achieve what you are aiming for.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

But Rome wasn’t built in a days, so don’t expect results overnight. An Indian woman I knew in Dubai had a note by her desk saying “God’s delays are not God’s denials”, and that’s so true. Sometimes it is as if life is testing you to see if you really have what it takes to succeed. If you give up whenever there’s a set-back, you will never succeed. And set-backs there will be, no matter what you try to achieve. It’s just a question of constantly finding solutions.

Yes, it’s boring I know. But what’s the alternative? Everybody would like plain sailing but things are never as easy as they seem, unfortunately. So you must have faith in yourself and your ability to succeed. If you don’t have, why should anybody else?

Nothing is impossible – the impossible only takes longer

Nothing is impossible, the impossible only takes longer, as Churchill said. Now is the time for you to aim for the impossible. Because what’s worthwhile many times seem impossible until you have succeeded. What’s the point in aiming for something you are not passionate about? If you are not really determined to get what you aim for you will never succeed but give up at the smallest adversity.

Be flexible and open to new possibilities

So set your goals, make a plan and start taking action to get there step by step. And be flexible, because once you know what you want you will find new ways that will be milestones on your road to success.

Whenever I really want something I always succeed. It’s just a question of how long it takes. Sometimes I even succeed way beyond expectations. The first time I was in Saudi Arabia on a short assignment for a business magazine I found it so interesting I wanted to spend more time there. So I made up my mind I was going to do that. Little did I think that once I was there again working for another publication I would be headhunted and become the only Western woman ever to have held a senior management position in a one hundred percent Saudi owned company in Riyadh. And not just a small company but a diversified conglomerate with 10,000 employees. Didn’t even think that was possible.

Think big

Think big, aim for the stars! Whatever you are aiming for, set your goals high. What’s the point in using up the energy it takes to just achieve something mediocre? Dare, try, take a risk, learn and be determined. And don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Keep your goals to yourself and just do it. Broadcasting what you are going to do to all and sundry isn’t always a good idea. Not least since some will try to talk you out of it.

You will be hit in the head a few times until you get reach your goals. But remember, the person who experiences most wins. All serious daring starts from within so make sure you are physically and mentally fit since not only does it make you happier, think more clearly but it also gives you the energy to succeed, even when you have set-backs. Don’t forget that people who have really achieved something big in this world have, on average, lost everything they had 3,1 times. Life isn’t easy, but it’s up to you to make the most out of it.

Video: BritishUnion1707 – Picture: Levan Ramishvili

89 thoughts on “Tough times never last but tough people do

  1. Not only in the outside world of linear goals and plans, etc, is your message true. I feel, only recently, that I am finally coming through a long dark valley of poor health. I found that just by "being with" the pain, rather than by resisting it/trying to push my way through it, has helped me know myself as strong. Thanks for your thoughtful blog.

  2. Thanks for this motivational post, Caterina. I'm in the process of working on two new ventures at the moment so it's good to be reminded I just need to keep on going and not be disheartened by any perceived setbacks and keep aiming high!

  3. Great quote. It never feels good to go through tough times. It's also true that some people receive an unfair share of them, but how you manage them says so much about your character and your potential for success.

    1. Absolutely. And Churchill got more than his fair share of hard times. The British establishment treated him appalingly. If he had not persevered despite the hard times Hitler would have won the war.

  4. Results do not come to those who drop off along the way. We have to push through until we make progress. It is not always easy, in fact it is never easy. Keeping focused helps keep distractions and doubt at bay. I am generally determined and keep my eye on the goal. It has paid off even when not as soon as I would like.

  5. Catarina — totally agree that you need a certain amount of toughness to reach your goals. Too often the easy route is to give up. I've set a new goal of becoming a Life Master in bridge. That entails playing at sectional, regional and national tournaments. I've set myself a timetable of two years to reach that goal. So I'm booked for the national in July, at least 2-3 regionals, 2-3 sectionals and the nationals in October. I don't know if I'll reach my goal in two years, but I'm plugging away!

  6. As this post pointed out, tenacity and patience is important. Having one is good, having both is great.
    You must be prepared not to break, but also wait for the opportunity to arise.
    It is a great post.

  7. Catarina, What a great motivational post. I like this part which is at the basis of it all:
    "So set your goals, make a plan and start taking action to get there step by step." After that be flexible.
    I enjoyed reading about how you moved from journalism to senior management in Saudi Arabia – that was a pretty good example of being flexible 🙂

    1. Glad you find this post motivational, Lenie. Professionally it wasn't much of a move in Saudi Arabia because most of my life I have worked in senior executive positions. Just moved from media to a diversified conglomerate. The main achievement was that I was a woman getting such a position in Saudi Arabia.

  8. I love this post. I think in business perseverance and flexibility are key to help the business withstand it's ups and downs. I love the quote "God’s delays are not God’s denials". I am going to make a sign and hang it in my office. Thank you.

  9. That is a great book title and I likely would have done the same things you did, buy the book because of its title. Churchill is truly an inspiration and we can all learn from his example.

    1. Glad you agree with me. If you have not read Churchill's memoires you should. They really puts what happened in World War II into perspective. By the way, did you know that if Roosevelt and Truman had not been manipulated by Stalin and the Conservative party had not lost the UK election in 1945 the cold war would most likely never have happened.

  10. Perseverence is a must if you wish to move forward in life. It would be easier to stay where I am but I know I would not be content as there is much I still wish to accomplish.

    There will be challenges but each time you overcome one, you become more resilient.

    I am in the process of writing a mini book and plan to succeed in blogging. Hard task as there are many existing bloggers.

    1. Glad, but not surprised, you agree, Cheryl. None of us have come across the kind of resistance Churchill had. Let's face it a whole country was against him. But he prevailed and saved the UK from being invaded by Nazi Germany. Imagine if he had given up. If he can, so can we:-)

  11. Catarina,

    Nice Post. Whenever someone talks about Motivation, facing-the-world, going after the dreams, sticking with plans and believing in yourself, my heart knocks at my brain’s door, and says, Excuse me, if you’re busy, please read this article. Just read it. Okay????

    So I start reading, and sometimes I find awesome articles like yours.

    I think it’s the beauty of Blogging, when you get sincere with your readers community, they automatically turn towards you.

  12. What has always intrigued me is how given a similar set of circumstances, two people can turn out in largely different ways regarding the ability to preserve.

  13. What a wonderful post Catarina! So many wonderful thoughts we should be reminded of daily! If there is one think we can count on in life is that we never really know what lies ahead. Keeping an open mind, remaining flexible and as you so beautifully suggest “Think Big” is the best way to be prepared for all that comes our way. Yes we will experience set backs, often at the time that seems the least convenient, but if we approach those set backs as opportunities to reframe and reset then in the long run we can only win! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Excellent post Catarina, these are some inspitational quotes we should always keep in mind. Especially the ‘think big’ one. If you’ don’t think big or believe in youself, why do the others should?

  15. Hi Catarina,
    A wonderful post of hope and encouragement for those who are tempted to quit three inches from the gold. Like Churchill, there’s no quit in my bloodstream. your post is very much in line with what Dr. Nido Qubein said … you must search for success and be in a continual state of earning it.

    I like all of all your points, but I like thinking big the best.

    1. William, neither you nor I have ever gone through what Churchill did. He didn't fail fifty or a hundred times but more like two million times before succeeding. Everything and everybody was against him.

  16. Perseverance pays off. I also like your advice to be flexible and open-minded to new possibilities. Sometimes there is a different way to get there.

  17. What an excellent sentiment and so true. I think it’s particularly smart to set goals and go for them without too much discussion with other people. No matter how supportive, people tend to tell you how things will fail, rather than work with you to make them succeed.

  18. Excellent quote Catarina, and a very inspiring post. Well done on getting the job in Saudi Arabia- quite a feat. It is good to aim high, though you can only do so if you can cope with disappointment. But I agree it is better to live life believing in the impossible, as it may just come true

  19. I am a big fan of Churchill! Glad I finally had a chance to listen this morning. Unfortunately, after the war, for whatever British reasons, he wasn’t so popular in England. So sometimes that happens, too, sigh.

    Most “motivational” speeches I don’t find particularly moving. But I would be motivated by Churchill – I think because he wasn’t just empty words. No inane Twitter hashtags from him. He meant it.

  20. Wonderful and timeless piece Catarina. Churchill’s quote has inspired me many times when I thought that there was no reaching my goals, or getting up off the ground from a failure. Sometime the wake-up call was to move on to something different… to be flexible, as you say. Because everybody can be good at something…it is a matter of finding that competency and developing it.

  21. Lovely post, Catarina. My husband gas found great inspiration in the words of Churchill.

    One thing I wonder about is that you say not to share your goals with others, yet many people insist that publicly sharing your goals and desires with all and the universe is more likely to make them a reality.

    1. Thank you, Doreen. Tell the universe about your goals. But only tell people who are positive and will encourage you. If not, some of them will try to talk you out of it. Either because they are protective of you or envious.

  22. When you think big, and it's right for you at that moment, it will work out. Many times in my life I have gone down that path and those times where it all seemed to gel were the times that obstacles fell by the wayside…almost as if ordained to do so. Tough times often breed clear though as diminished chances will do that to a person.

    1. Glad you agree, Tim. Obstacles often fall by the wayside. But sometimes it takes a long time before you get to that point. Churchill is a good example of that.

  23. If you give up before you reach your goals you will never know what you could have succeeded. It is interesting how similar our blog posts are. I guess great minds thinks alike. I try to live by Churchill's quote "Nothing is impossible, the impossible only takes longer."
    My recent post How Mentally Strong People Run the World

  24. Tough times certainly don't last if we take the proper steps to ensure that. My first major turnaround was with a corporation that was in a cyclical business because it had always thought it was in a cyclical business and the main thing that needed changing was its mindset. The beauty of thinking big is that the bigger you think the less obstacles you face because most just don't do it.
    My recent post Beyond Specialization

  25. That's totally true. We must accept that time will still flow even if our thing is don or not. However, people with this kind of hindrances still face it.
    My recent post אתר סלולרי

  26. Glad you like it Bethany. On average people who really succeed lose everthing they had several times, according to statistics. Personally don't think I'm in that league i.e. Henry Ford & others. Another way of looking at being hit in the head is being turned down. Am currently reading the biography on Warren Buffett. Harvard turned him down and so did Wall Street. In 1991 an abundance of investors laughed at him for not investing in IT stocks. When he explained that very few of those companies would not survive, people said he had lost it.

  27. Very much striking Catarina. This bit makes good sense:

    "Broadcasting what you are going to do to all and sundry isn't always a good idea. Not least since some will try to talk you out of it."

    It is this inept feeling in many people that if they are unable to do it, nobody else under the blue sky will. There are more unknown, untested, untried, and unsuccessful situations that imagination could not expand on. Lot of people simply give up even before trying. I call it lack of enterprising orientation. Truly enterprising persons command everything that strikes their mind one bit. The world has potentially enterprising genius sitting to be uncovered and gainfully tapped. It is not happening because the other numbers are greater; least enterprising. To succeed and keep winning, you must stay in the drving seat or get others drive through your enterprising influence.

  28. I like what you said: "If you don't "innovate" yourself, what are you going to achieve?"

    Toughing up also requires being flexible. It's kind of a paradox(?) but it's true.

  29. Thanks for reposting, Catarina.

    Particularly apt this morning as the markets try to figure out what the impact of the new French President will be on the Eurozone.

    Still, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and it seems Brussels and London are looking forward to an influx of wealthy French people looking to escape the promised punitive taxes…

  30. Hi
    Know what? This post reinforced my aim to be flexible. If Plan A isn’t work, yes it is time to look at Plan B, even if it may not be as attractive (but then it is better than nothing). Have a nice week ahead.
    My recent post The Devotion of Suspect X

  31. My daughter was telling recently to motivate me: Beethoven wrote over 1000 symphonies. But only a few became famous . The point is keep on doing. Don't worry about the not so perfect project.

  32. Excellent post. I particularly liked the quote: "Nothing is impossible, the impossible only takes longer," as Churchill said. I've found that passion is a key driver. You have to love what you do. I can't say that's always been the case for me. But I'm trying to live "in the moment" and go for what I want. If not now, when?

  33. Hi Catarina,

    Another lazy sunny Sunday morning with time to check in on your blog…as always well written and timely. Most successful people or wanna b's have learned this behaviour but then life keeps getting in the way and they must keep reminding themselves…Also your comment of dreaming big is so true…I have learned a long time ago that the bigger opportunities, whether it is career, partners or friends there is less competition at the top as few believe they can get it…
    My grandfather always told me to think big, takes about the same time…like filling out a loan application only the amount is different…

    There are a lot of quotes defining this…"the gold may only be one more foot down!" "the only thing we truly have is the power of choice", "you are the only problem you will ever have", etc.

    "Adversity….do not fear the winds of adversity, remember a kite rises against the wind rather than with it….""

    Catarina thanks for the reminder….

    Back to my Sunday coffee and quiet life…

  34. Great and timely message. And very much in line with a book I'm reading called "Thinking for a Change" by John Maxwell. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  35. Catarina Alexon,let me first thank you for the information.

    This for you,just few words…

    “We are not the one to be Compromised
    We are the one to be Improvised
    As I am not always a perfect Being to be Summarized
    But your writings paved roads towards a New definitions that will be Memorized by me and many Life’s yet be Compromised ”

  36. "Tough times never last – but tough people do"

    "When the going gets tough – the tough get going"

    Very apposite quotes for the times. There are going to be a lot more people who are a lot tougher after the current credit crunch and global recession.

    Let's hope that those that may be tough, but do not have the economic or political power to exploit that toughness for whatever reason; growing up in a country without prospects, education, democracy or security, or personal disadvantage through disability etc do not get squashed on the way!

  37. The old adage, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is so true. It's times like this that show character and determination.

    If you are prepared to persevere, you will achieve your goals. To do so, you must have your goals clear in your mind and visualise yourself achieving them, then single-mindedly work towards them. Be prepared to suffer setbacks along the road, for life seldom delivers things easily, but keep persevering.

    As Thomas Watson – the legendary leader of IBM from the 1920s to the 1950s, and the man credited with building it into the giant it is today – said, "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success."

    Now’s the time to look for opportunities – many will emerge from this global recession as ways of doing business change.

  38. Osama, innovation is part of the concept, goes without saying. If you don't "innovate" yourself, what are you going to achieve?

    Adam, be positive and determined and as Churchill said, "the impossible only takes longer"!

  39. yeah you are right, always thing are not coming by easy way , it will take time efforts…
    to acheive what we want we most have little patience and draw map to our future so that we can know where are we heading with out geting lost.
    even though the bright look or the optimisim is the key to success definitely wit no any doubt its like that.
    other wise our life would be nonsense

  40. Very inspiring.
    I learned (already recorded) two things, thank you.
    I wish you have just mentioned the importance of INNOVATION in the same direction. History proves that no single down time passed without an emerging new Innovation in either the results or in the approach. We can either wait to watch or we can start to be part of those who innovate something. A personal believe.
    Osama Ghanim

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