Word of the Week: Fortitude

Today’s “Word of the Week” is fortitude.  According to Webster’s College Dictionary, fortitude is a noun that means “mental and emotional strength in facing adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.”  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary similarly defines fortitude as “strength of mind that enables one to meet danger or bear pain or adversity with courage” and synonymous with “grit, backbone, pluck, [and] guts.”  Notice how these definitions refer to “mental … strength” and “strength of mind.”  Fortitude is not physical strength or ability.  Rather, those with fortitude can mentally withstand obstacles and challenges in their paths.

Atlas tolerates my affinity for taking photos of him in the snow with dignified fortitude.

On a serious note, this semester has tested the fortitude of each and every one of you.  The LMAS program is rigorous and demanding, and you all have faced numerous challenges and sources of stress this semester (e.g., exams, projects, presentations, interviews, CPA preparation, etc.).  Graduate programs can easily become overwhelming, but we encourage you to consider these challenges as opportunities to develop and demonstrate your fortitude.

If you ended the semester strongly, challenge yourself to sustain that fortitude throughout the rest of your graduate program and throughout your career.  If you had a rough semester that did not end as you had hoped, move forward from this semester knowing that fortitude is a quality that can be developed and improved upon over time.  Your future semesters, as well as your future career, will be full of opportunities to demonstrate fortitude, and any bumps or failures along the road can be valuable learning experiences.

On a less serious note, the Word of the Week is going on hiatus for winter break.  All of us in the LPDC hope that you have a wonderful and restful holiday!  We look forward to working with you all this spring!

Let’s look at some examples of fortitude from recent news articles.

“Do you have the emotional fortitude to weather the ups and downs of starting a business? One of my favorite quotes about being a startup founder comes from Michael Caine – “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.” As a founder you will have many circumstances where you need to project calm and confidence while working hard and dealing with massive amounts of uncertainty and difficulty. Make sure you have the emotional fortitude to weather the ups and downs of starting a new business is key.” http://on.wsj.com/Rn5pAa

“Buy Real Marketing, the leading provider of web 2.0 business applications and number one supplier of Twitter followers and YouTube views, shows optimism and fortitude in overcoming obstacles concerning the ensuing photo-sharing integration issues on Twitter. According to BBC News, Instagram has removed support for a feature on Twitter that ensures photos are properly displayed on the site and within Twitter messages. Now users, including Buy Real Marketing clients, can only view Instagram photos through a pre-card experience. This means that in order to see the photo shared on Twitter properly, users have to click through to Instagram website first.” http://bit.ly/Zaw99k

“The shortened life expectancy (three to five years) and bleak outlook (total paralysis) that comes with a diagnosis of ALS are well known. Because most forms of the disease affect only muscle-controlling neurons, patients’ mental status and awareness usually remain as sharp as ever. No cure exists, not even an effective treatment. But Cedars-Sinai doctors and scientists are advancing research and therapies to someday offer new options on ALS, inspired by the fortitude of patients like Silva.” http://bit.ly/Uez1vh

“The Philadelphia Eagles give up. They haven’t said so, but their body language indicated weeks ago that they lack the … mental fortitude, the coaching and maybe even the talent necessary to battle back. There was an opportunity on Monday night for the Eagles to at least gain some dignity in front of hometown fans and against the only NFC team with a worse record than theirs, but it became apparent early that even that wasn’t appealing enough to inspire a group of players who have given up on their doomed head coach.” http://bit.ly/VQD6eR

For more information on the word fortitude, please visit the following Web sites:

Works Cited:
“Fortitude.” Webster’s College Dictionary. 2nd Ed., 2001. Print.
“Fortitude.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 11th Ed., 2004. Print.



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