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Some Quotes on Adversity

Albert Schweitzer: "One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity."

It’s pretty much inevitable that we’ll face adversity at some point, especially if mental illness or any other sort of chronic illness is in the picture, so here are some quotes to inspire.

“Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.”

Victor Hugo

“Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.”


“There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.”

Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”

Albert Schweitzer

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.”


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou: "You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated."

William Shakespeare certainly had a way with words, and these were some of his thoughts on the topic:

“Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”

As You Like It

“Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.”

Henry VI

These quotes came from BrainyQuote.

53 thoughts on “Some Quotes on Adversity”

  1. Wow – these are great quotes. And what I like is seeing the way you’ve curated them altogether. There is such a sense of owning our adversity that I get by reading through these. Thank you, Ashley!

  2. Wonderful quotes! Much needed. We all becoming the diamonds we are because we keep fighting and refuse to give up on ourselves. Keep going, people! We got this. And, even when we don’t ‘got this’ we fight on. Still. How great are we?? I have some chronic things that gets on my LAST nerves, like vertigo, and it can get old fighting with it. These quotes will helps. Thanks much.

  3. It’s always fascinating to me that Shakespeare only lived to be 34 years old so everything he wrote with such a flourish was at a fairly young age. Great quotes! I like Sonia Sotomayor’s quote as well.

  4. I find the link of adversity with prosperity odd, and interesting. The Murakami quote and the Angelou quote are similar in intent but I prefer the Murakami and both remind of this “Overcoming and getting over are two very different things. Yes, you should strive to overcome. To survive, have a life, to be happy, to be productive. But no, you’re not required to get over it.” Perhaps not exactly on point but I have it on my computer desktop and read it almost every day.

  5. Yes to the Haruki Murakami quote. I can relate. Ive noticed the change in myself over 13 years. It was the adversity that helped me see. At least adversity peeled back the layers. The shroud we wear to keep from being hurt must finally be loosened and all of life, good and bad, tasted. Great collection. 🙏🏼🕯🕊🐚🌊🗝🙏🏼

  6. Teagan and Her Horses

    I like this. Sure, given the choice I probably wouldn’t have picked the myriad of difficulties I’ve experienced. But I also doubt I would be nearly as evolved had I not experienced those adversities.

  7. “Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” – Aristotle
    So what does it say that my parents wanted me less educated to fuck me over? 😅😅😅💔

  8. I love how we aren’t the same after tackling adversity…we’re stronger and wiser with the knowledge that we can get up after the storm has passed. ❤️

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