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The Purpose of Adversity

It’s all over the news.
You can’t avoid it.
No matter how much we try to deny it…

The world is coming to an end. (Play eerie music here)

Just this year alone we have had a prediction about the end of the world or rapture. The U.S. Government has been downgraded by S&P. Greece and Spain are in utter disarray. People are being laid off, losing their homes and are quickly watching the balances of their retirement savings diminish. I mean with times like this what is the purpose of going on? We might as well give up now. It looks like all is lost, right?

Wrong! The troubles and the issues we face rather personally or as a nation are here for a purpose. Challenges do not arise to kill us, they come into existence so that they can be overcome. I am not afraid of a debt ceiling. I am not afraid of being laid off. I am certainly not afraid of inaccurate predictions, foreclosures, or plummeting investment accounts. What I am afraid of is the lack of faith that we as human beings have in each other.

In the U.S. our ancestors survived the Great Depression. We survived the Great Market Crash of 1929. We survived the financial crisis of 2008. We rebuilt after the devastating attacks on the Trade Center towers on 9/11. We will survive today’s challenges. We are a nation full of people who learn and strive through adversity.

I could care less about political parties and selfish agendas. I care about my neighbor who is a single parent working two jobs to feed her children. She gives me hope. I care about the guy who just got laid off from his job who has the courage to start his own business. He gives me inspiration. I care about the children who press their way to school, from broken and damaged homes, with no supplies trying to educate themselves. They motivate me to make keep trying to make a difference.

So, instead of wasting our time focusing on everything we see going wrong, lets take the time and do something right. The purpose of adversity is to make us stronger. Who have you strengthened today?

I refuse to be a participant in chaos. I want to be an advocate for solutions. Let’s build from the ashes of our past failures and pour a solid foundation that future generations can stand on.

Here’s some great ways for us to help based on the needs of the people:

  • Resume Seminars
  • Interviewing Seminars
  • Volunteering
  • Debt Consolidation Programs (not scams)
  • Book sharing- If you read a great book pass it to a friend.
  • Donate school supplies
  • Career development coaching
  • Financial literacy and responsibility programs

The more hands that get involved, the faster we change the news headlines into something worth reading. Let’s make a difference. I understand the purpose of adversity and I am up to the challenge. Who’s with me?

Frank Jenning is the founder of A Spark Starts where he writes inspiring stories to encourage you to reach your full potential. He writes with passion. He writes with purpose. He writes for you.

Don’t Forget To Follow PickTheBrain On Twitter!

Related Articles:

How To Increase Self Discipline

How To Motivate Yourself

40 Responses to The Purpose of Adversity

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s great to know, its a very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

    bao ve

  2. Sean says:

    Not participating in the madness is the best thing you can do for your life, and it all starts with NOT watching the news.

    Stay away from it, it’s the reason why everyone’s so affected by this mess

  3. Jk Allen says:

    I love how you ended this post Frank, with examples of how people can help. I believe in helping others; serving others. I believe that the more I do things or the others, the more I get out of life; physically, spiritually, financially, and ever other “lly”. 

    Too many people love living in the hype. They like setting their eyes on December 21st, and this date and that date. There must be something thrilling about it all that I don’t get. 

    But I’m with you…I have hope and faith. I don’ worry about all the stuff in this world that I can’t control. I have faith everything is in much larger hands than my own.

    Well written.


  4. Robert says:

    I’m with you! Every adversity is an opportunity to display character. Let’s all respond to Frank’s call to display character!

  5. Pingback: The Purpose of Adversity is…

  6. Julie says:

    Frank,  Interestingly, I was just reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, where he describes that the Great Depression is over, and now instead of frontiers, there is a whole new, blank landscape of Industry to conquer.  It is eerily similar to where we are getting to today.  When everyone (nearly) is leveled, then everyone starts on a fresh playing field.  Well, we aren’t nearly leveled (yet)  but there are certainly many of us who used to be the Givers who now are the Recipients…and are finding it a strange and bewildering place to be.  And far too many caught inbetween – way overeducated, over experienced, and completely desolate in their complete and total destruction.  Time to rebuild, I guess.

  7. Marlee Ward says:

    “So, instead of wasting our time focusing on everything we see going wrong, lets take the time and do something right.”

    I’m so with that, Frank. I wish more people would start to realize that they are more powerful when they focus on what they can do, instead of focusing on what they cannot do.

  8. Oh Frank, this is so inspiring! I couldn’t agree more. If we want things to change, we have to focus on the solutions, instead of complaining about the problems. Hard economic times have always been a time of immense opportunity for those who were willing to see it. We can either waste our time being afraid, or we can look towards opportunity, hope and resilience. That’s what I’m doing as well. I’m glad to be on the same side as you!!


  9. Chetan says:

    Frank ! I liked your post about Adversity. Last month I lost my job but I was not so sad because I love learning new thing and love working where someone trust in your ability but nothing was there for me in that job.  It was hard time for me so I told my self  “Hang On this Low Period”  and decided to give  PMP – project management professional exam which will help me in getting better job.
    I have done my graduation in 1994 and after that never read books so it was hard in start to become student again but soon I was able to study upto  9 hours and recently passed my exam so now I am happy that I kept myself positive in Adverse time and I am sure things will be fine soon.
    If i compare situation then if  I had that job then I have not learned anything new yet but since I did not had job – I force myself to  study and pass the exam so what ever happen is for good.


  10. We all make the choice whether to participate in the low energy vibration or the high. I think we know which one you’ve chosen Frank. I know I’ll meet you there.

  11. Al says:

    Great job Frank.  Can I copy and paste this over to The CARE Movement ?  Ha !  It really goes hand in hand with what we are all about.  Really good stuff.  We have got to focus on the Positive.  I am one of those who lost my job and decided to start a business.  It’s been a rough year, but the friends I’ve met and the blessings I have received are too numerous to count.  I can’t explain it, Frank, but I remain Faithful and Grateful.  It’s the only way to be.  I will continue to CARE and Share and PASs it on !  We WILL make a difference ! Great post and great ideas. 
    “Focus on the solution and not the problem.”

  12. Beautiful post Frank.

    You really understand the meaning of adversity and can see the good in all things.  Well done.

  13. Hey Frank!  I agree that we need to focus on the thing we want more of. I used to teach my kids that they were moving in whatever direction they were pointing to. What we focus on expands. Focus on what you want – right!
    I’m with you!

  14. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  15. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  16. Sean,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The purpose of main stream media is to get ratings. They are for profit companies and fear sells. It doesn’t inspire it just creates more chaos. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  17. Thanks Jk,

    I felt like just going on a rant about my personal opinion wouldn’t provide enough depth. There are people out there who want to make a difference but some just don’t know how.  The list I provided was from things I have actually done and found a ton of value in. I hope someone takes me up on my challenge.

    I can’t stand the hype man. I want people who want to help deal with real life. I can feel that the day coming soon when the hysteria is gone and we get back to the stuff that really matters like changing lives.

    Thanks for your continued support.

  18. Robert,

    Thanks man. That means a lot to me. I felt like I was going to be standing on top of my soap box all alone for a while there. :-)

  19. Julie,

    That is one of my favorite books. You just made me want to go re-visit it. 

    You are so right. In times when things are down, this creates the greatest opportunities. If you don’t believe me consider this. When Borders went out of business and books were %80 off would you avoid them because you liked them better when the prices were high and they were doing well. Heck no, you would go in and buy when things are on sale. Well the world is on sale. Go “buy” as many life changing, character building experiences as you can.

    Thanks so much for your comment. It has encouraged me.

  20. Ms. Marlee, business guru extrodianare,

    People really don’t know how much power they have. I didn’t really understand it until I recently did some volunteer work at a school this year. I didn’t have much to give but what I gave to the students and the teachers changed their lives.  For some reason people think they have to do something huge to make a difference.

    Every single action we take could potentially change the course of someone’s life. I think it is better to choose an action that builds instead of an action that could destroy.

    What’s up with your content girl? You got to stop giving that stuff away free. You have been killing it. My son’s lemonade stand is gone be fire next year with all the business tips you been giving away. :-)

  21. Melody,

    I love your first sentence. It makes me feel like I am doing the write thing by trying to write inspiring stories.

    “If we want things to change, we have to focus on the solutions, instead of complaining about the problems.”

    That is one heck of a statement. Can I steal it and pretend I wrote it myself? :-) 

    I don’t have anything to add after that. I don’t want to mess it up by saying something stupid, which isn’t hard for me. lol!

    P.S. Welcome to the dark side, since you decided to join me. There are monthly membership dues. $250 I will email you the details. lol! ( I bet you didn’t see that coming)

    Thanks so much for your support.

  22. Chetan,

    You just connected with the right person. I have been in that place right were you are. In fact, I wrote a post right here on Pick the Brain about my experience.

    Check it out:
    Another good post to check out is on my site:

    Enough with the commercials, now back to the comment. I am proud of you for taking that next step to advance your career. After I got fired from my job , I studied and spent more time at the library than I did in my own house. I used the adversity I was facing to try to make a difference. Adversity is tough but with determination and focus it can be overcome. I am excited about the possibilities of what is next in your life and I can’t wait to here how your story progresses. Make sure you keep me in the loop. Good luck on your test. I know you are going to pass it with flying colors.

    Thanks for having the courage to share your experience. It means a lot to me.

  23. Right, we all have a choice. Now which one did I choose?

    I am pretty lazy so the low energy vibration seems like it would be right up my alley. You know college football starts tonight, right? lol!

    I guess I have chose the high energy vibration. Can you tell me what that means later by email? I’m a little confused. (just kidding)

    Michelle thanks so much for joining the discussion. You are downright awesome. Thanks for those writing tips you gave me in your post. They were right on time.

  24. Al,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Now I do want to step in here and say that copyright infringement is no laughing matter. (In my serious voice) lol!

    I knew when I wrote this that this would be right up your alley. The CARE movement is going to be huge and I am happy that I know the guy who is at the helm of it.  You are going to help a lot of people focus on the positives and get their mind off of the adversity they face. Thanks for your comment.

  25. Bryce,

    Don’t be fooled by the fancy title of this post. I really don’t have a clue. This was all a clever ruse to get people out of their houses so I can use their electricity to build a mind control ray and take over the world. (insert evil laugh here) lol!

    But really, Bryce I don’t know it all but I do know panic doesn’t create solutions it only creates more problems. Adversity comes along to be overcome so our grandchildren can read about it in the history books. I am glad you enjoyed what you read and I am even more excited that you took the time to comment. It means a lot to me. Thanks

  26. Lori,

    I knew you were coming to this party. I’m glad you were able to get the invitation. It’s so good to see you. Did you bring the drinks?

    Lori, you were suppose to bring the drinks. Now I got to run all the way back to the store. Nobody better steal nothing while I’m gone.  :-)

    I loved that lesson you taught your kids. That is awesome. We move in the direction  we are pointing. How much do I owe you for this appearance? Do you take monopoly money? lol!

  27. Jermaine says:

    This is pretty powerful stuff. If I had a match I’d strike it in hopes of catching this “line of thinking” a-blaze so that all of the 300 million people who live in this country will catch on fire. Before you say it, No, I’m not an arsonist!

    Great post!

  28. What an inspiring post. It seems that while reading I had all the people I helped in any way through my year mission trip (last year) to Colorado, flash before my eyes. I’m grateful for all of them, and learning from each person. EVERY person has difficulty. All different in nature. I want to be better – and care more, because of you. Thank you!

  29. Chetan / Champ says:

    Oh my god you always be there around me – I will tell you now why… few month back you wrote post about “Being Fired” and I was going though that situation and your post really helped me to think positive and I put my comment there in name of  Champ and this is one of the line which I wrote  “I must move on and find the job or study something to get the job.”
    And what one more connection we have of Library – Even I had joined library to study since was not able to study at home and I never had visited library in my 38 years of life. 
    Now I passed my exam on 30-Aug-11 and I could read your post again …Wow 
    Thanks for making my life positive Frank , god bless you

  30. Anonymous says:

    I hear ya, and I’m with ya. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Don’t be afraid to reach out, give back and lend a helping hand.

    I’m doing mine through volunteerism w/ the Guardian program I’m involved with because it’s going to be tough enough for these kids to make, especially with the baggage they are carrying around. There are no throw-away kids………period. 

    Great post and good to see you at the brain pickers. I have to tell you, I was a little intimidated to show up here………..I thought there might be a test or something to get in…………….just sayin’……………..:)

    Have a good one buddy. 

  31. Thanks Jermaine! You sure do sound like an arsonist to me. Anyone who wants to set 300 million people on fire might have a problem.  I’m just saying. :-)

    I appreciate your support. Thanks for your comment.

  32. Christian,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. I bet that mission trip was pretty life changing. I would love to hear more about your experience in the future. I will pick your brain later.

    I think there is more value in action than complaints. I hope others can get inspired as well. Thanks for joining the discussion.

  33. Bill,

    I figured this one would be something you could relate to. You have done some amazing work over there at the Guardian. Your work is inspiring and a testament to the power of action.

    Please be aware, there will be a follow up exam on this post so watch your inbox.  :-)

  34. I do remember you. Congratulations on passing that exam! The library is a powerful place. It made a huge difference in my life. My favorite part about it is that it is free. I am excited about what is next for you. Congratulations again.

  35. Dia says:

    Hi Frank,

    Indeed my friend, we have overcome many obstacles as human beings and whatever is going on, we can overcome.  We have to unite as one hand.  We have to find the faith within us.  With God, everything is possible.  Thanks for sharing my friend. 

  36. J.D. Meier says:

    I’m a fan of the unsung heroes and little fighters and underdogs who get up to back, face the music, and make the most of what they’ve got.

  37. Dia,

    Thanks for stopping by and joining the discussion. Your comment means a lot to me. I think we can find the most value in action and not in complaints. With God, everything is possible.

  38. J.D.,

    Those are always the best stories. I  hope more people want to be a part of the movie instead of just spectators. The only thing better than watching a great movie is being in a good movie.

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  40. Suzinelsen says:

    Can I use this article.  So well written.  Love your site?

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