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I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause. It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice. So the people herein suffered layoffs, bankruptcies, divorces, evictions, illness, and the death of loved ones, and as a result they were as likely to stumble into a better life as they were to arrive there by reasoned planning. They made mistakes before summoning the courage to get it right. Their path called into question the notion that a calling is something you inherently know when you’re young. Far from it. These people discovered in themselves gifts they rarely realized they had.