Don’t Wish It Was Easier; Make Yourself Better.: Embrace the suck.

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
3 min read
Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Cultivate the ability to face challenges and flourish in adversity. It is how we grow. Don’t desire fewer problems, want more wisdom. Self improvement is always the best strategy.

Steel is made by melting iron with other fluxes in a crucible.

Adversity is like a crucible. Overcoming it is how we transition and transform. What doesn’t impede us makes us more resilient.

Don’t long for a soft life. Get hard enough to endure a difficult one.

Find out what’s on the other side of adversity. Don’t wish for an easier life; strive to be strong enough to endure your life’s challenges.

We should celebrate when an obstacle appears in our path. It represents our opportunity to overcome it. Embrace the suck.

Don’t wish for fewer problems, gain more skills to deal successfully with them.

Don’t wish for a more comfortable life, aspire to be able to handle a harder life with grace and grit.

Adversity and failure are our friends. They are useful and necessary for developing strong mindedness and success.

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said,

“The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

This thought is from his journal, now known as Meditations, Book 5.20.

Here is a story that illustrates the point.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Once upon a time, there was a ruler of a prosperous land. But she had a nagging worry. She worried that her that the people had lost inspiration. She was concerned that society was vulnerable to decline as a result of the attitude of her people.

As a test, she had a giant boulder placed to block the only road into the city.

Then she hid upon a grassy knoll overlooking the road and waited to see what would happen.

First, some workers came upon the giant stone and said, “Well, this boulder is blocking our path. Let’s turn around and go home. No work today!” And they turned around and left.

Next, a group of merchants came upon the impasse. “This rock is blocking our way,” they said. “I guess there will be no business today,” and they turned around and went home as well.

The queen watched person after person come upon the rock. Each would see it as an impossible impasse or a convenient excuse. And immediately turn on their heels and head home.

Amodest traveler arrived upon the obstacle. Instead of being discouraged, he got excited by the presence of this challenge. He first examined the colossal boulder and tried to push it with all his might. He soon realized this would not work and began to think of other solutions.

He recalled the famous saying Archimedes: “Give me a large enough lever, and I will move the world.”

Powered by inspiration, he cut down a strong sapling and fashioned a pole. He placed it under the boulder and, straining, moved the block a bit. He repeated this process until the rock was entirely off the road.

With his challenge addressed sat down to savor the moment. He was about to head off for the town when he noticed a bag lying where the boulder had covered it. He picked up the bag. Inside was a large amount of gold and an elegant note.

He opened the note and read, “This gold is your reward. Great obstacles can lead to great opportunities.”

The queen left her spot behind another rock of legend upon the grassy knoll overlooking the road, and went back to her castle with renewed hope for the fate of the people.

Don’t pray for comfort; pray for the strength to endure.

Don’t wish it was easier; make yourself better.

Don’t desire fewer challenges, want more wisdom.

Don’t be yourself — be someone a little nicer.

Share this post
John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

Receive my 7 day email course

Take your finance skills to the next level with my 7-day corporate finance email course. You'll learn all the essential topics from financial analysis to risk management in a fun, engaging format. Each day, you'll receive an email with practical examples, exercises and resources. Perfect for aspiring finance pros or anyone looking to expand their knowledge. Get ready to transform your finance game!

By clicking Sign Up you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

If you like this article. Here are some more articles I think you might like.


The Road to Becoming a Unicorn: A Quick Guide to Startup Funding Rounds

The whole process of funding and developing startups has become more widespread because the cost of getting a product to market has dropped so precipitously in the past couple of decades from millions of dollars to typically anywhere from under $20,000 to $500,000.
John Cousins
December 18, 2023
7 min read

Oh Behave! Behavioral Economics: Why we do what we do.

Behavioral Economics is a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behavior to explain economic decision making.
John Cousins
December 18, 2023
4 min read
Personal Growth

Professional Development: 3 Types of Skill Sets

To perform effectively in a job and advance to greater responsibilities requires developing a well rounded set of skills. Every job and every industry has its specifics but these skill sets are general and apply across all jobs. Skills are fundamental for turning a job into a career trajectory and this trajectory is part of our personal fulfillment in life.
John Cousins
December 18, 2023
5 min read