by David DeFord
This article is from the Lessons from Nature series. If you would like to submit your articles or ideas for this series, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love sunrises and sunsets. I love their beautiful
displays of nature’s glory. Their magnificence
cannot be adequately captured on film or canvas.
These glorious presentations are made richer and
more beautiful when clouds participate in the
Clouds may bring rain or hail, snow or sleet,
tornadoes, hurricanes, or sweet summer
showers. Yet their presence as the sun rises
and sets provides colorful splendor.
Each of us faces storm clouds in our lives.
Some of these trials represent small difficulties
—summer showers as it were. Others provide
harsh, painful gales that terrify us and make us
want to cower for cover in our basements.
These hardships—mild or intense—add beauty
and splendor to our lives. Think of the ominous
trials and glorious triumphs of Helen Keller,
Lance Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln, and Oprah
Winfrey. Their struggles add blazing color to
The wise use their challenges as springboards
to greatness. Others respond to such storms by
turning to drink or other ruinous indulgences.
Successfully weathering difficulties requires a
cool head and good judgment. We must focus
on the solutions not on the problems. Panic,
blaming others, and feelings of hopelessness
only compound the damaging effects of the
storms in our lives.
See your challenges for what they really are—
opportunities to add beauty to your life and
strength to your character. Napoleon Hill wrote:
“The turning point in the lives of those who
succeed, usually comes at the moment of some
crisis, through which they are introduced to
their ‘other selves.’”
I would hate living without challenges. I need
the stimulation. Imagine a world without rain.
May your skies be rich with blazing beauty as
you triumph over the storm clouds of your lives.
The faster the pitch the farther the ball will fly
when we solidly connect. The more difficult the
challenge, the greater the reward for meeting it
squarely. David DeFord
The value of a thing lies in the cost of attaining
it. David DeFord
Difficult times have helped me to understand
better than before how infinitely rich and
beautiful life is in every way and that so many
things that one goes worrying about are of no
importance whatsoever. Isak Dinesen
Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat.
You may have to fight a battle more than once
to win it. Margaret Thatcher
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