“On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what strengths you possess that could turn this incident into a lesson.” – Epictetus
Obstacles are standing between where we are right now and where we want to be as people. In addition to those obstacles, there will be times where we feel like we are being attacked by people/situations. In some cases we might actually find ourselves under attack. While there are things you can do to mitigate some of the risks in your life, you will never be able to remove all of the obstacles and hardships that are coming for you. And the more you want to get out of life, the more life is going to put up obstacles and throw hardship at you. How we prepare for and deal with those inevitable difficulties are the only parts of this equation that we have control over.
We could choose to not face them, pretend they weren’t there and then sort of flap about uselessly never solving our own problems. But then, if we can’t solve our own problems we really aren’t going to ever be that good at solving anyone else’s. And that’s the give and take we use as our contribution to society.
We could deal with our problems enough so that we are able to move past them. And that would be enough. We might not ever get much better but we would get through and we would get by.
Or we could take each problem and look at it as a way to get better. Someone is being rude or argumentative? It is a chance to develop patience. Someone didn’t follow through on their part of a project? An opportunity to work on leadership. And the list goes on and on.
We should welcome our hardships and use them as a chance to become better.
virtus fortis vocat