specific problem or obstacle impeding achievement of a goal
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Difficulties are problems which must be overcome on the path to progress.
- I feel anxious for the fate of our monarchy, or democracy, or whatever is to take place. I soon get lost in a labyrinth of perplexities; but, whatever occurs, may justice and righteousness be the stability of our times, and order arise out of confusion. Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.
- Abigail Adams Letter to John Adams (27 November 1775).
- If we can see our difficulties, there is a way of resolving them, or the hope of a way.
- Brian Aldiss, The Glass Forest (1986) 
- Shirk not these crises, hard and difficult though they may appear to be. Difficult they are. Forget not that the habit of confronting crises, is a long-established one within the consciousness of humanity. Man has the "habit of crisis", if I may so call it. They are only the points of examination... They evoke confidence when surmounted, and produce greatly expanded vision. They foster compassion and understanding, for the pain and inner conflict they have engendered is never forgotten, for they draw upon the resources of the heart. They release the light of wisdom within the field of knowledge, and the world is thereby enriched.
- Alice Bailey in A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 3: Esoteric Astrology (1951)
- Difficulties are God's errands; and when we are sent upon them, we should esteem it a proof of God's confidence, — as a compliment from God.
- Henry Ward Beecher, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 107
- Investors should remember that their scorecard is not computed using Olympic-diving methods: Degree-of-difficulty doesn't count. If you are right about a business whose value is largely dependent on a single key factor that is both easy to understand and enduring, the payoff is the same as if you had correctly analyzed an investment alternative characterized by many constantly shifting and complex variables.
- Warren Buffett, Chairman's Letter - 1994. Berkshire Hathaway (March 7, 1995).
- Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental Guardian and Legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as he loves us better too. Pater ipse colendi haud facilem esse viam voluit. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
- Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Volume iii, page 453
- Where, then, is the hope? Is the hope in hardship’s rushing gales? Ah, no, no more than God’s voice was in the rushing gales but in the gentle breeze. Likewise hope, eternity’s hope, is like a gentle breeze, like a whisper in a person’s innermost being, only all too easy to ignore. But what, then, does hardship want? It wants to have this whisper brought forth in the innermost being. But then does not hardship work against itself, must not its storm simply drown out this voice? No, hardship can drown out every earthly voice; it is supposed to do just that, but it cannot down out this voice of eternity deep within. Or the reverse. It is eternity’s voice within that wants to be heard, and in order to gain a hearing it uses the clamor of hardship. When all irrelevant voices are silenced with the help of hardship, then it can be heard, this voice within.
- Soren Kierkegaard Christian Discourses 1848 Hong 1997 p. 109
- Let them understand in America that the crisis in the country itself is nothing less than a battlefield. There is no better possibility! The Teaching says that while the human spirit is in happy and comfortable harbors it will never awaken. Therefore, only in the days of shocks is it possible to expect spiritual ascent and the realization of true values. The threatening time will compel many to look for a way out and salvation. Try to be at your best, and connect yourselves with the great Focus without delay! Let nobody be deceived by apparent calmness, as it is very deceptive—such calmness may be more dangerous than a storm.
- Helena Roerich, Letters I, (11 June 1931)
- I've always believed that a writer has got to remain an outsider. If I was offered anything like the Nobel Prize for Literature, I'd find it an extremely difficult conflict because I'd be basically disinclined to accept.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 194.
- Die grössten Schwierigkeiten liegen da, wo wir sie nicht suchen.
- The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sprüche in Prosa, p. 236.
- Nil agit exemplum, litem quod lite resolvit.
- The illustration which solves one difficulty by raising another, settles nothing.
- Horace, Satires, II. 3. 103.
- Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Chapter XIII.
- Blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
- Matthew, XXIII. 24.
- So he with difficulty and labor hard
Mov'd on, with difficulty and labor he.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book II, line 1,021.
- Ardua molimur; sed nulla nisi ardua virtus.
- I attempt a difficult work; but there is no excellence without difficulty.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, II. 537.
- Men might as well have hunted an hare with a tabre.
- Richard the Redeles (1399).
- It is as hard to come as for a camel
To thread the postern of a small needle's eye.
- William Shakespeare, Richard II (c. 1595), Act V, scene 5, line 16.
- Nil tam difficile quin quærendo investigari possiet.
- Nothing is so difficult but that it may be found out by seeking.
- Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, IV, 2, 8. Robert Herrick, Hesperides (1648), No. 1009, Seek and Find.
- Nulla est tam facilis res, quin difficilis siet,
Quum invitus facias.
- There is nothing so easy in itself but grows difficult when it is performed against one's will.
- Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, IV, 6, 1.
- There is such a choice of difficulties, that I own myself at a loss how to determine.
- James Wolfe, dispatch to Pitt (Sept. 2, 1759).