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Is there a saying like "Plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter."? It is a part of Japanese poem translated into English. It basically means a great achievement cannot be conveyed without overcoming great difficulties or sufferings; it is important to keep doing your best even in bad circumstances.

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closed as general reference by bib, Mark Beadles, MετάEd, Marthaª, tchrist Oct 17 '12 at 21:48

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Here are a couple of hundred. There are numerous other sites with thousands of others found by simply searching adversity sayings. This looks like a general reference question. – bib Oct 17 '12 at 12:25
Good resource, bib - though by no means all the references refer to the benefits of enduring and overcoming suffering. I've taken the liberty of quoting two that do: Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. ~African Proverb There is no education like adversity. ~Disraeli – Edwin Ashworth Oct 17 '12 at 13:30
@bib Interesting, but I don't think any of them quite describe the very Japanese sensibility of beauty in adversity. The English language quote convey more of the sense of "that which does not destroy me makes me stronger" kind. – Pitarou Oct 17 '12 at 14:09
@Teno I don't think you'll find the kind of answers you're looking for on this forum. I suggest you take your question to writers.stackexchange.com – Pitarou Oct 17 '12 at 14:14
@Pitarou Thanks for the reference. – Teno Oct 17 '12 at 15:31

Not so poetic, but we have No pain, no gain. Or, as the Irish poet W B Yeats wrote,

I said ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing

Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring.'

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Thanks for the quote. – Teno Oct 17 '12 at 15:33
+1 for awesome Yeats quote. – Josh Jan 23 '14 at 20:00

When the going gets tough, the tough get going - when a situation is difficult or dangerous, strong people work harder to resolve the problem.

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Thanks for your input. – Teno Oct 17 '12 at 15:34

It's not as colourful as the Japanese, but an alternative to "it is important to keep doing your best even in bad circumstances." is

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

It doesn't cover the magnitude of the suffering however

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Thanks, I like it. – Teno Oct 17 '12 at 15:32

Although this is not a saying but I found it very close in the lyrics of Bette Midler's song, The Rose.

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been to long,

and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,

just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow

lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose.


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