The World Breaks Everyone

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readJan 19, 2024

Become strong at the broken places.

Photo by Dhia Eddine:

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Ernest Hemingway was an iconic author and journalist, renowned for his concise and impactful writing style. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Hemingway rose to prominence with books like “The Old Man and the Sea” and “A Farewell to Arms.”

His works frequently explored themes of war, masculinity, and the human condition. Hemingway’s brevity and use of understatement had a profound influence on 20th-century American literature, shaping the “Hemingwayesque” style.

He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway’s literary legacy endures, and his contributions to modern literature continue to be studied and celebrated for their profound impact on storytelling and narrative technique.

Ernest Hemingway’s quote –

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

- reflects an insightful viewpoint on the resilience and strength that can emerge from pushing through life’s roadblocks. Let’s break down this quote and examine its elements.

The world breaks everyone,…

This suggests all people face difficulties, struggles, and troubles in life. Hard luck does not discriminate — it finds a way to knock on everybody’s door. In other words, no one is immune to the trials and tribulations of existence.

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

…and afterward,…

This implies a temporal aspect, indicating that the breaking or challenges are not your story’s conclusion. There’s a continuation, a post-challenge phase, and you get to author the next chapter of your narrative — so write it to your liking.

…some are strong at the broken places.

To me, this represents the heart of the quote. It suggests that individuals not only survive challenges but thrive and become stronger as a…



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·