Triumph And Adversity: How Would You Reduce Stress On A Stranded Cruise Ship? (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Triumph And Adversity Part 2This week, I’m asking you to imagine yourself as a stress relief counselor on the recently stranded cruise ship named Triumph.

See my first post in this three-part series here.

Given all the adversity this ship’s 4200 passengers and crew had to deal with while stranded last month in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for five full days without power, running water, or air conditioning, what would you have taught all these stressed out folks?

One Key Choice

While there are many different principles for relieving stress that I usually cover in a standard workshop, this would not have been the time nor the place to do this.  With a stressful situation this extreme, there is really only one key choice that people need to focus on. 

Everything else, including how well or not so well we deal with such adversity, will ultimately hinge on this one key choice.

You Can Resist…Or You Can Embrace

The one key choice we have to make in extreme situations like this is:

  • Are we going to resist, complain, and succumb to the adverse circumstances we find ourselves in…or are we going to accept them, embrace them, and creatively figure out ways to have them be more tolerable?
  • Are we going to rail against all the adversity we face, get angry about our plight, and guarantee that we will become maximally stressed…or are we going accept our fate, exactly as it is (and exactly as it is not), and find ways to enjoy ourselves, even when others do not believe this is possible?

This is the fundamental choice we all have to make, whenever we are faced with highly stressful or difficult situations.  It is also the same basic choice we must make when our luggage gets lost, our money gets stolen, our room reservation gets unexplainably cancelled, or when anything else…big or small…goes differently than we might want it to go.

It’s All In The Cards

Many, many years ago, when I was a teen, I spent most of my summer vacations  playing endless hours of card games each day with a few of my close childhood friends.  We played hearts, bridge, poker, and a lesser known game called “pitch.”

I had no idea at that time that I was eventually going to become a physician or a stress coach.  I also had no idea that by investing so much of my time away from school playing cards, I was actually training myself in one of the most important coping skills I would later need as an adult.

You see, sometimes I would get good cards and sometimes I would not.  After a while, you learn to stop complaining or feeling hopeless whenever the cards you receive weren’t what you wanted.

You learn to accept the cards you are dealt and then figure out how to win anyway (or at least minimize your losses) as creatively and skillfully as possible.

Once again, not everyone learns to make this fundamental choice, and those who don’t get pretty frustrated and stressed out when the cards aren’t going their way.

But once you discover the incredible power of this very useful mental trick, you never forget it and you never go back to doing things the resisting way.  Quite the opposite, you grow more and more creative, and figure out new and better ways to turn any difficult situation (within reason) into something you can end up feeling positive about.

Shift Happens

When faced with the very difficult, albeit temporary, circumstances those stranded travelers on the Triumph had to face, some of them made one choice and some made the other.  Some of them coped reasonably well under such an ordeal, and others did not.  Some, quite interestingly, coped amazingly well.

They were the ones who were able to shift their perspective from “woe is me” and “isn’t this terrible” to “isn’t this interesting…I wonder how I can creatively respond to this challenge before me…and maybe help others do so as well?”

This is the only thing worth teaching in such a situation.  And it’s the ultimate secret to triumphing over any type of adversity…large or small.

Special FREE Download Gift!

Free Downloadable Four-Book Stress Relief Library

To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to and download it right now. Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there! Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later. That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

Once you do download these four e-books, I’m going to send you an email every day, for the next seven days, to support you in reading them all.

Go to right now and submit your best email address. Then, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your intentions. When this email arrives (if you don’t see it within 10-15 minutes, check your spam folder), please click on the highlighted link and you’ll go directly to the download page, where all four e-books can be downloaded as one composite .zip file.

Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

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