"If you're going through hell, keep going." Of all the quotes that have been recited back to me throughout the years--from Ben Franklin, Sun Tzu, Socrates, Confucius (the list goes on and on)--it's this quote by Winston Churchill that really stands out. It strikes an appropriate balance between the seriousness of a particular situation and the lighthearted humor we need to get through it. And it can be applied in almost any context--from running your very first mile or driving through a blizzard to struggling through law school or dealing with grief.
The first time I heard the quote was many years ago--uttered to me by a concerned friend. Over the course of one week in the dead of winter, my boyfriend broke up with me, I lost my job and I broke my hand. Between the devastating blow to my ego and painful surgery on my hand, I had to pound the pavement in search of a mid-level journalism position in a struggling economy. The task was arduous, and as easy as it would have been to curl up in a ball on my futon in my tiny studio apartment and cry myself to sleep, I didn't. With my one good hand and my powder-pink cast, I picked myself up and got to work. The job search in and of itself was full-time work, but I never stopped.