Pillar of Strength

In his book, Grinding it Out, Ray Kroc, the man who made McDonald’s what it is today, wrote about his father. Kroc senior was a hard-working man who was doing well in real estate before the Depression, expanding his holdings and using credit to extend himself even further. “When the market collapsed, he was crushed beneath a pile of deeds he could not sell,” wrote Kroc. “The land they described was worth less than he owed. This was an unbearable situation for a man of my father’s principled conservatism. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1930. He had worried himself to death. On his desk the day he died were two pieces of paper — his last paycheck from the telegraph company and a garnishment notice for the entire amount of his wages.”

Bad stuff happens, and sometimes it’s big. You don’t want it to crush you. You want to be strong. So start now taking every small bad thing that happens as an opportunity to repeat this idea to yourself:

There will be an advantage in this.
I will find it or I will make it.

Repeat it until you see or can make an advantage out of it. If you will do this, you will stand as a fortress of strength for your family in situations that would make lesser men and women collapse in hopelessness. This idea is not some namby-pamby, rah-rah, positive-thinking nonsense. It is a source of tremendous strength. It may save your life some day. For sure it will be good for your health. Ingrain that thought — make that pathway through your brain well-worn — and you’ll be able to face up to difficulties that would make a mere mortal crawl and whimper.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is more successful than most people know. He’s made a lot of money with his films and married a Kennedy, but he’s also a smart and successful businessman outside of the movie business, with real estate, books, restaurants, and fitness clubs. He is hugely successful. In his autobiography, he wrote,

I didn’t get certain things I needed as a child, and that, I think, finally made me hungry for achievement...If I’d gotten everything and been well-balanced, I wouldn’t have had my drive. [Because of] this negative element in my upbringing, I had a positive drive toward success...

He held up under the strain and turned it to his advantage. He didn’t let it crush him because of the way he thinks. This strength is within your grasp: Find or make an advantage in everything that happens.

This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.

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