Source: Focus with Farber Series, Barry Farber, author, Issue: Focus with Farber on Adversity.


TONY Wainright is a successful advertising director, director of six public companies, writer of books, movies, and plays, and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies across the United States.

One of his secrets to success is that he doesn't see rejection as failure or adversity. Once, there was a company he wanted for an advertising account. The first time he went to see them, he was told the timing was wrong. Wainright pursued this company for six years. He thought about giving up, but he kept going. Then one day, in the sixth year, the company told him,

"We're starting a new division. How would you like the account?" He walked out of their offices that day with $30 million worth of their business. Wainright's confidence, and his belief in persistence, told him to keep trying.

"The analogy I would use is if you stand by a door, the odds are at some juncture the door will open. If you walk away saying, 'Gee, the door is closed and I can't get in,' you'll never get inside. I'm willing to stand by the door."

Wainright wasn't always so confident or so successful. When he was 29-years old, three hardships struck him at once. First, he became ill and required major surgery. Then he lost his job. And most seriously, his second daughter was born with spina bifida and died within a year.

"I got down on my knees and I remember thinking, 'There are two ways to go,' " says Wainright. "I'm either going to pull myself together or I'm not. I did."

The good news is that from adversity two things happened.

First, I worked harder than ever before and became successful. Second, I never forgot what happened to me. From that moment on, I dedicated part of my life to helping other people, doing things I never would have thought of had I not gone through adversity myself.

"For me, there are three things that helped me get through adversity. One is prayer. Another is the absolute belief that tomorrow will be better than today. And third, though it may sound like a cliché, is that I don't take things personally. Instead, I figure out a way to overcome it."

That's the best advice I can give. Don't dwell on things. And don't feel sorry for yourself when something happens. It happens to everyone, and it happens more than once. The ultimate winners are the ones who never give up.



1. Write down the most important thing you are trying to accomplish, followed by the small steps you can take to get it done. This will help you concentrate and focus.
2. Always finish your commitments. Never stop on the 1-yard line. Tough times never last, tough people do. Stop now and you will never find that inner strength you have.
3. Create a vision of your goal. Post it where you can see it every day. Focus all your energy on what you're trying to accomplish and what you need to get through each task.
4. Do more than you're expected to do on a project or in your job. Increase your service to others, and that action will often turn around some of the adversity and difficulties that you're going through.
5. Think about the benefits of this adversity, knowing what will be accomplished at the end. How does it benefit you? How does it benefit the people you're serving?
6. Look for the lessons adversity is teaching. The highest achievers in the world understand that failure is the most valuable teacher they can have.
7. Apply the lessons you learn to every part of your life. Failure in one part of your life might teach you lessons about how to deal with other parts, e.g., setbacks in your business may tell you to take your life in a whole new direction or may teach you that you need to improve the way you relate to people.
8. Live in the present. Put stickers around the house that say, "What am I thinking about now?" Are you living in today or worrying about tomorrow? Worry is a negative activity that diminishes strength, confidence, and energy. Conquer something today, and you don't have to worry about it tomorrow.
9. Live by Albert Einstein's three rules of work: (1) Out of clutter, find simplicity. (2) From discord, find harmony. (3) In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity. Most people are so busy knocking opportunity that they don't hear opportunity knocking.
10. Put the last nine tips to use before adversity strikes, when times are good, when your confidence is high. Remember, success breeds success.
"The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired." Seneca


Source: Focus with Farber Series, Barry Farber, author, Issue: Focus with Farber on Adversity.

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