It is all very well just “jumping in” and tackling a task “head on”, but often this will not be as effective if you have not first “laid the groundwork”. This simple, but evocative expression can be used in a range of contexts to express that the foundations of something have been established.

If you can think of a task which you previously struggled with, but have now “gotten to grips with” and feel confident doing, it would be fair to say that you have “hit your stride”. This horse racing based expression perfectly sums up such situations.

At times there may be situations where a maximum effort is required to get something done. A rather vivid, but effective way to express this is to say that you are “busting a gut” in your efforts to succeed.

The well-established expression “every cloud has a silver lining” perfectly captures a situation where something positive has resulted from an otherwise negative situation. This expression goes back as far as 1634 when John Milton coined it in his poem “Comus”. It’s versatility is proven by the fact that people often simply abbreviate it to “silver lining”.

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