Have you ever felt like your circumstances were trying to break you?
Just when you’ve improved your finances, your car breaks down. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed, come to work to a nagging boss and go home to an indifferent spouse. Every time you take a step forward, you take three back. Inevitably, just as you’re on the rise, something or someone tries to knock you down. If only life would give you a little bit of a break, you tell yourself, you’d have enough energy to make an effort to become successful.
Deep down, you believe success provides an escape from life’s problems. You figure if you had enough income, freedom, and positive experiences in your life…the bullshit would stop. It doesn’t and it never will.
In fact, when you push to do something outside of the box — start a business, write a book, become an artist, carve your own route — not only will things get worse before they get better, you’ll still have to work to maintain what you’ve achieved.
People from all walks of life have problems. Billionaires have problems, Hollywood actors, the Dalai Lama all have problems. Around every corner, just when you think you’ve won, life will find a way to see what you’re made of.
But there’s beauty in the struggle of life when you look at the right way. When life tests you, you get the chance to prove you’re resilient. One of the deepest levels of satisfaction comes from knowing how strong you are. Few memories are better than those of overcoming struggles, persisting, and absorbing pressure and turning it into fuel instead of letting it break you.
Realizing the world will constantly test you removes the element of surprise. When you find yourself in a bad spot, it feels doubly worse because you didn’t see it coming.
Know that life is preparing its next right hook, but as Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish it was easier. I wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Wish for more skills.”
Our first reaction to pain and hardship — mine included — is to dwell on how much it sucks. A few of us, however, realize there’s an opportunity to be had.
It’s easy to say and difficult to do, but if you can learn how to transform pain into the purpose you’ll feel a type of happiness that is ten times better than the feeling of having a life devoid of difficulties.
Maybe our purpose on this planet isn’t to feel good. Maybe we’ve been placed here to see what we’re made of.
Almost every time life tests you, you won’t want to find the opportunity in it. I never look positively at a challenge or hardship instantly, but after I’m done sulking, I look to take a step in a positive direction.
Try it. Over time, it works wonders.
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