Mind and spirit overcoming fear,
Leading to productive activity,
Moving closer to meaningful work.

My Dad always said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” As a kid striving on fields, courts and occasionally the classroom, I found his words inspiring. As I matured and took on some of the world’s cynicism, I realized that getting tough wasn’t always the main ingredient to success.

Other variables like…
…carried the day.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that getting as many of the above factors working for you betters your chance for success. Job hunting is uncertain, chancy work. Getting “tough” is one thing you can control. You might as well resolve to be tough in this process. It’s a pretty good quality for being in transition. Webster defines it as “firm, strong; flexible but not brittle”–all necessary for success in job hunting.

Management consultant Peter Drucker says that “hard work” is often the criterion that separates success from failure in most endeavors. Hard work and toughness seem connected.

I like Mary Isbister’s view. She’s CEO of a Milwaukee company, General Metal Works. In these hard times, she rightfully points the finger back at us…and speaks the truth. “I’m one of those eternal optimists. This challenging economy is giving all of us time to step back and say– OK, these opportunities that we’ve thought about and aspire to–what is it going to take?”

My Dad would respond, “toughness”, Mary, “toughness.”


Ponder where the going has been especially difficult for you in this transition and what variables are most important to your success. Where does toughness fit in? What’s it going to take for you to hang in there and be successful?

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.