In life, there are those who solve problems and those who complain. They both face the same situation, but only one of them will discover a solution. Only one will embrace the challenge, while the other resigns to being a victim of the circumstances they both confront.
Throughout your life, you will encounter numerous problems. Some may appear suddenly, as if they were punishments bestowed upon you by some higher power. You can succumb to the temptation of cursing the event, cursing your Creator, or cursing the universe for subjecting you to this wretched situation without any apparent reason. Alternatively, you can find purpose by perceiving the challenge that lies before you.
The concentration camps of the Second World War were illogical and unjust challenges. If anything could be considered a curse, it would be them. The Jews who were thrown into these death camps did nothing to deserve such cruelty. They walked to their deaths in gas chambers, torn apart from their families, wives, and children, forced to live without dignity, hope, or any glimpse of an end.
Yet, some individuals chose to discover meaning amidst the suffering. According to Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor, it was these men who not only survived but even thrived in the most horrendous circumstances known to mankind.
It was those who took control of their thoughts—the warriors—who witnessed the war’s conclusion and eventually achieved freedom, provided they were among the few who escaped death. On the other hand, there were others, men who were equally or sometimes even physically stronger when they arrived at the camps. They chose to perceive only horror and the futility of any action, and as a result, they wasted away, perished, or descended into madness.
Therefore, there are no circumstances in life that you have no control over. Even if you began in poverty, trapped in an undesirable environment with no prospects and countless excuses to give up, turn to crime, or rely on state assistance, you still retain control over your reactions, thoughts, and actions. It is this control that grants you the freedom to transcend any adversity.