Review: Adversity Builds Character by Tom Ufert

Life is about moments, but more than that it is about what those moments do to us, the effect they have on our lives; our direction and our meaning. Life is not just about Action, how we respond to the moment, but about how we react, who we become as a result of such events. Our course is not forever set based on a single moment or a single choice. We make our own destiny, and as long as we have the internal fortitude to stand up, own our mistakes and failures as well as our successes, then we have the ability to change everything, to do anything, to become somebody.

This is a prominent theme in the book Adversity Builds Character, by Tom Ufert. A true and honest story if ever there was one.

The book is a biography, the account of a man’s life, written by his own hand, recalled from his own mind.

I believe there are always at least three sides  to every story: yours, mine, and the truth: sometimes two of these are the same.”

Reading this, you are probably thinking, well… I don’t know this man’s name, why had he written a biography… what is in this book for me?

Just because a man’s name is not plastered in the headlines, it does not mean his tale is not worth telling. Adversity Builds Character is one of the more effective and ‘moment’ laden books I have read in a long time.

While by the very definition, it is a biography, it is an account of a man’s life, and the destructive path it headed down. Yet, this is not the point of the book. The book is a tale of reaction. It is a shining example of how we should all look to live our lives. To remain positive and true in the face of adversity.

As you read the book, several things unfold. It starts with a murder suicide, includes car crashes, drink, drugs, sexual struggles and ends with medical disability, and a life changing diagnosis.  I can happily mention these moments, for while being central to the story, the events themselves are merely the action, while – as I mention above – this book is all about reaction.

Positive think is exemplified in Adversity Builds Character.

I cannot think of a more fitting title, because Tom Ufert is a man who has faced much adversity, and is one of the most upstanding characters I have had the pleasure to meet.

Reading the book, there are plenty of moments that would have easily broken a man of lesser character, or at the very least given them an excuse; a crutch to use for the rest of their lives. An ability to justify their spiraling behaviors are undoubtedly elicit sympathy along the way. Tom Ufert does not do this. At no point does he use a crutch, he accepts the error of his ways, stands up to them and affords himself the chance to experience personal growth.

The positive outlook expressed in the book is infectious, there can be no other word used for it, and I cannot recommend it enough. It will certainly be a book that I shall read again and again.

Tom sums it up best himself when he says “I have food in my gut, a roof over my head,  clothes on my back, a little money to get by on, friends who care about me, and  those who love me – REALLY, WHAT ELSE MATTERS? It gives one pause  when we want to whine and complain about how bad our lives are!”


If you want to find our more about Tom, you can check out his  (new) website here.

Adversity Builds Character is available online (via Amazon, and many other retailers). I cannot recommend this book enough. It is one that will surely go down as a classic in terms of the story it tells and the character it will help build, for its themes can be applied in all circumstances.


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