Don’t Wish It Was Easier; Make Yourself Better.: Embrace the suck.
February 7, 2023
3 min read
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.
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.”
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.
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