There Is No Triumph Without Toil

A lot of things tried to kill me and failed. But they sure made me want to die before making me stronger.

I am full of wounds, yet still, I have the strength to smile. To keep my head high. To stand on my two feet.

Eight years. That’s how much I spent writing before earning my first dollar from my stories.

I wrote countless blog posts that didn’t get a single comment.

I got rejected, over and over again.

I got ridiculed, made fun of, dismissed.

They told me that I couldn’t do it. Over and over again.

No one, not even one person, ever believed in me.

I have the kind of genes that shouldn’t allow me to work out in any way at all. I was always sickly, fragile. I’d fall apart, and it would take me twice as long to put myself back together.

“To progress again, man must remake himself. And he cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor. In order to uncover his true visage he must shatter his own substance with heavy blows of his hammer.”

Alexis Carrel, Man, The Unknown

Imagine it. Both the marble and the sculptor. Imagine the pain of forging yourself by shattering away layers or your own self. You are diminished, feel defeated, feel like throwing in the towel.

There is no triumph without toil. There is no victory without struggle.

We all carry the world on our shoulders. Whether we want to or not. Whether we curse the fates or not. Whether we cry or smile. We all must carry the world on our shoulders at times.

Adversity only reveals us to ourselves. In the midsts of chaos and defeat we catch a glimpse of who we truly are. Weak, fragile, human, mortal. Live long enough, and the world will break your heart. Avoid life, and solitude and fear will eat your soul away. But during the storms of our lives we also get to see who we could be. We get to be strong, because there’s no other way.

When it’s do or die, we all tend to do rather than die.

I strenuously believe there’s a superhero in each and all of us. I believe that there’s a part of me that kept fighting when I could have settled for a minimum wage job somewhere, to fail by default because of me being too afraid to take action. But something in me kept fighting, even though I was sure this was all a losing cause.

There’s this tiny bit of magic inside all of us: to fight a losing battle and not to lose it. To emerge victorious when fighting against insurmountable odds.

There’s no other fight quite like it.

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5 thoughts on “There Is No Triumph Without Toil

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