Triumph And Adversity: How Would You Reduce Stress On A Stranded Cruise Ship? (Part 3)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Triumph And Adversity Part 3This week, I’ve been looking at how people could have reduced their stress on the recently stranded cruise ship named Triumph.

1st  post in this three-part series

2nd post in this three-part series

Resist Or Embrace?

In my last discussion, I noted there was basically one key choice each of us has to make when faced with potentially stressful circumstances in our lives…large or small:

“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 a highly stressful or difficult situation.  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 want it to go.”

“A Tale Of Two Ships”

An article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 15th (the day after the ship returned to land) by Molly Hennessey-Fiske.  It was titled “Carnival Triumph cruise ship crisis ‘a tale of two ships’ ”

This article documented that not only was this fundamental choice I’ve been talking about a theoretical coping strategy, but it actually was utilized by a significant number of the 3,141 passengers.

Hennessy-Fiske wrote that while conditions progressively deteriorated on the crippled cruise ship, some passengers panicked, hoarded food, drank too much and argued with others.

But other passengers banded together, shared water, prayed together, and went out of their way to comfort children of strangers, while also helping the elderly and sick to get around.

Kindness Amid Chaos

Several passengers interviewed for this article said that the 5-day ordeal brought out both the best and the worst in people.  Hence the ‘tale of two ships.’

While many succumbed to the pull of negative thoughts and emotions, others maintained a positive spirit.  They continued to greet one another every day like long lost friends.  They moved mattresses and bedding up from the lower decks to create makeshift tents on the decks.

They helped children, the elderly, and the sick, and they did everything they could to keep nasty rumors from spreading, such as that someone had died, someone had fallen and broken a leg, someone had contracted a serious infectious disease, etc.

About 200 people even gathered together to form a comforting prayer group, led by the Rev. Wendell Gill of First Baptist Church in La Porte, Texas.

Thus, it is very clear to me that some people made the choice to embrace their difficult circumstances and use their creative abilities to make it more tolerable, while others made the opposite choice—to complain, to get drunk, to get angry, and otherwise to resist the cards they were dealt.

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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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