Nothing makes one grow more than adversity. It's only when faced with real problems do we make real advancements.
Consider, for instance, the prehistoric human. For centuries we lived off the earth and had few problems in spite of the occasional territorial battle, famine, etcetera. Some people tired, or more likely got scared, of those challenges, and decided to wander about looking for greener pastures, literally. Then, when everyone's all scattered around the then-contiguous terra firma, God sent, [this part is pure speculation] in 2012 BC, a payload of high-energy neutrinos that triggered immense volcanic activity resulting in tectonic plates drifting apart, forming what we now call continents.
In an instant, some dude who was soaking up the rays in the equator, sipping on cow-milk from a gourd suddenly, after the earth stopped moving beneath his feet, found himself in 51.30 N latitude 0.7 W longitude, ie. London, England. It was raining all the time and cold as sh*t there, something he was unaccustomed to. His pigmentation even began to lighten due to the absence of the sun's rays, much to his horror. He didn't even have a dentist anymore so his grill got really jacked up. [Sorry Brits, couldn't resist that one. You colonized us, so shut up]
But soon he was faced with some very real problems that, if he'd left unaddressed, would've exterminated him. The survival instinct kicked in and he built a house from wood, which was a better insulator than brick or earth from the elements.
The rain pissed him off, so he stretched a piece of hide across some twigs and made an umbrella.
Then, some young, homeless dude named Bobby Peterson, or BP for short, was cold as sh*t one afternoon. He started digging a tunnel in the lowlands to snuggle in, but the deeper he dug the more he smelled something weird. He couldn't see what it was coz it was dark down there, so he went and came back with a stolen candle. While curiously examining the thick, dark-ish, greasy fluid, the candle inadvertently slipped from his frostbit fingers and landed on the stuff which promptly ignited, in the process giving off enormous BTUs [not that he called them that back then; he probably at first yelled out: Bollocks!] of heat. Getting some feeling back in his fingers again, he dug some more and found out there was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of the 'burn-so-hot' stuff oozing from the ground. So he bottled it, showed its properties to the the townspeople who started buying from him. Now they call it crude oil.
Not that I'm a pundit in African or world history; for all I know I'm probably grossly misinformed. But I do know this: when faced with problems that could very well wipe you out, that's when you're at your most resourceful.
So go on, good people, and put yourself out there. Necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. [Let's see - can I recall another proverb that fits the bill? Oh, how about this one:] A penny saved is a penny gained. Wait, that doesn't fit. Oh well.