The Gift of Adversity with Dr. Norman Rosenthal

How can we make the best of difficult times? The video below features award-winning pianist Roy Eaton, CEO of Strategic Investments Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, and physiotherapist and trainer, Stacy King.

[Video 3:04] The Gift of Adversity



Here’s what the experts are saying about The Gift of Adversity:




“Dr. Rosenthal catalyzes conversations around adversity with tales of wisdom and survival that we can all treasure.” —Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., host of The Dr. OZ Show




“Dr. Norm is a cosmonaut of consciousness, launching into the murky abyss and returning with meteoric treasures for us all. His writing on the value of adversity may come to be regarded by Alien archeologists as a Rosetta Stone in understanding how we advance as individuals and as a culture.” —Russell Brand, Actor




“Dr. Rosenthal presents an intriguing and inspiring work on the endless ‘blessings in disguise’ which shape our lives and our world. He shares frank personal experiences along with stories of others, including historical events on a global scale. He offers suggestions on how to navigate through rough patches in life and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.” —Laura Dern, Actress




“In this timely and beautifully written work, renowned psychiatrist and best-selling author Norman Rosenthal tells intriguing stories that converge on an important theme–that many of life’s greatest lessons and joys aren’t the products of perfection, but the gifts of adversity. Each short chapter is its own delicious dish in a wonderful feast of a book.”

—Marci Shimoff, #1 NY Times bestselling author, Happy for No Reason, Love For No Reason, and Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul



This charming book joins deep insights from psychoanalysis to the humane wisdom of a life fully lived. Rosenthal captures both the complexity of our emotions and the pragmatics needed to harness them, and he does so with humor and grace.

—Andrew Solomon, Author of “Far From the Tree.”



The Gift of Adversity is a wonderful book. Dr Rosenthal, psychiatrist and humanist, vividly describes the pains and setbacks brought about by our actions or circumstance and how we can use them to give substance and meaning to our lives. The Gift of Adversity is an important gift in its own right.
—Kay Redfield Jamison PhD, author of An Unquiet Mind



I really loved Norman’s book—and i agree that adversity can be a great teacher and a great friend. —David Lynch, filmmaker




If you’ve ever wondered what a world-class psychiatrist really thinks when pondering his life journey, then read The Gift of Adversity. You’ll be treated to short and savory stories covering Dr. Norman Rosenthal’s extraordinary roller coaster ride from a young boy in South Africa, to an acclaimed physician and scientist. His wit and wisdom will captivate you as you learn the priceless lessons gifted to you from life’s challenges.
—Pam Peeke MD, MPH, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine U of MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunger Fix



8 Replies to “The Gift of Adversity with Dr. Norman Rosenthal”

  1. C Rajeev says:

    Both the books “Transcendence” and ” The gift of adversity” are available through http://bit.ly/11K435n, for Indian readers as online orders.


  2. C Rajeev says:

    Dear doctor,

    I have bought the two books—-

    “Transcendence” and ” The Gift of Adversity” through Flipkart and I have found both of them very informative.

    You have proven that you know a lot on the subject.

    Best wishes.

  3. C Rajeev says:

    Whenever the eyes are exposed to bright light, the whole mind and brain come to a state of alertness.

    That is why, we switch off the lights when we go to sleep.

    While we are sleeping, if someone switches the lights on, we feel mentally alert and we are awakened from the sleep.

    The fact is that bright light has the capacity to induce a state of alertness to the mind as well as the brain.

    This might be the reason why we feel tired if we are continuously exposed to bright light.

    Even Mother Nature hides the Sun during night, so that the living beings can take rest or go to sleep.

    When we do Shava Asana or the Sleep pose, the whole physiology and psychology is taken to a restful state.

    I have very often seen people complaining of headaches or fatigue, due to watching Television or Video or Internet or reading books for long durations.

    We should not over work our body and mind. If we want to live for many years in good health, we should be moderate in all our activities——be it sleeping, eating, working, or whatever it may be.

    Too much of anything is bad.


  4. C Rajeev says:

    We are in the digital era.

    Let us examine the negative aspects of technology.

    No wonder Television is called an “Idiot Box”.

    Throughout the world, TV is spoiling the entire society.

    Even though there are many uses of TV, the regular viewers absorb a lot of negativities upon themselves, without being aware of it.

    Though it is a cinema, the viewers are directly affected by what they see, at least for the time being.

    Many people often get influenced very much by what they read, or see in real life.

    It seems to me that there is something called the “Biometric Field”.

    When we hear any meaningful sound, our mind suddenly gets a biometric image of what is being said.

    If someone says—“an elephant, we suddenly get into our mind, the image of an elephant.

    If someone says—Mr Albert Einstein, those who have heard of him, are able to visualise his picture and all other known details about him.

    Everyone has got a “Biometric Field”, associated with them.

  5. C Rajeev says:

    When we are under immense pressure of work or situation, the mind is erratic and even the reasoning power is lost.

    The mind should be in its simple form, if it wants to stay cool, peaceful and powerful.

    For the mind to stay simple and powerful, we have to practise TM regularly.

    Human beings are building up their character based on their immediate situations.

    Tell me your company, and I will tell you what you are, goes the saying.

  6. C Rajeev says:

    When we enter a Meditation Hall or a Church or Temple where the ambience is tranquil , everyone wants to follow that decorum.

    When someone is in a battlefield, there is no rest at all. This is because the atmosphere is turbulent.

    This shows that the surroundings and situations have got a direct impact on the individual.

    When we start listening to a music, the mind resonates with the rhythm it contains, due to its involvement.

    When we watch a movie, the viewer is directly affected by what his eyes perceive, just because it is deeply engrossed in it.

    This is the nature of mind.

    If the music is melodious, the mind feels calm and relaxed.

    Suppose if we win a big prize in an event or lottery, we naturally feel elated, since our future takes a new turn.

    Similarly, if we face a negative situation in life such as disease or a financial loss or a failure, we feel depressed.

    These all indicate clearly that we are a product of our situations..

  7. C Rajeev says:

    Abstinence from excessive sexual behaviour is a must for practising any type of Yoga or Meditation.

    Even modern medicine says that too much of sexual indulgence is harmful for the body and mind, regardless of the gender…..Man or Woman.

    Sex is a desire of the animal kind. Man has got the Sixth Sense, that is, the Power of Discrimination.

    Man has got the ability to think and reach higher levels of consciousness. Animals can never do like this.

    Discrimination means knowing the difference between the right and wrong

  8. C Rajeev says:

    Some meditators get a lot of thoughts during TM practice. The presence of thoughts indicates that there are accumulated stresses and strains in the mind.

    In course of regular practice, when the stresses and strains are released gradually, the mind will certainly stay calm.

    Some people reach the state of Silence very easily than others. This is because, their accumulated stress is very low.

    Whatever may be the experience that we get in TM, we should continue to practice it regularly, without giving much importance to the results.

    The mind may become blank, without any feeling.

    Sometimes, we feel more happy and calm. At certain other times of TM sessions, we feel distracted or disturbed. Never get discouraged by your experiences. Practice makes perfect.

    Progress comes gradually, and not all on a sudden.

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