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Overcoming Adversity Essay

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“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become a successful person”- Zig Ziglar. Everyone has hardships at some point during their life. Tragic situations can influence people in different ways. Adversity can urge us to do things in a better or more unfavorable way; however, it all depends on our response to the situation. If you choose the right path, adversity can shape your identity in a good way.

In the movie, The Greatest Showman, P.T Barnum faced adversity throughout the film. A couple of thugs started a fight at Barnum’s Museum and it resulted in a fire. Everything that he has worked for burned down to the ground. Also earlier in the film, Charity left P.T because she said he was focusing more on the circus than he was on his family. For a while, he was miserable because he lost his business and his family. Later in the movie, the people in the circus reminded him of what he lost sight of, that family is the most important thing in the world. This conversation pushed P.T to go get Charity and his kids back. From that moment P.T Barnum made a promise that he would always put his family first. This helped shape Barnum’s identity because he changed as a person when he realized what was really valuable in life. This is shown in the film when he lets Phillip Carlyle be the ringmaster, while he went to his daughter’s ballet recital. Just as adversity played a role in shaping P.T Barnum’s identity, it also shaped mine.

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I have faced adversity like P.T Barnum, making me a better person. When I was in middle school I broke a bone every year. Each time the situation was worse than the one before. It was a really hard time to get through, but it made me realize how lucky I was to have functioning body parts. From this tragic experience, I learned one very important thing you should be thankful for everything you have, even the small things. Now I am more aware of the things I have and I am starting to notice things that I should be thankful for in my everyday life. I believe these tragic situations have made me a better person. Even my family and friends have realized this situation has changed me for the better. I could have chosen to stay infuriated by my current situation but I found chose to find some positivity. Since this situation has changed me as a person, It helped shape my identity.

Adversity can shape someone’s identity by pushing them to do things in a better or worse manner. When P.T made the change to focus on his family, not on the circus he made the right decision. This pushed him to be a better person. The time I broke three bones pushed me to be a more thankful person for the things I have. Both P.T Barnum and I could have chosen to act in a worse way, but we both chose a better decision.

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Overcoming Adversity Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Overcoming Adversity Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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Overcoming Adversity Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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